The Uptown Theatre has been undergoing an extensive renovation for the past couple years to restore the venue to its former glory.

The Uptown Theatre was built in 1936, and is located on S. Ohio Ave in Historic Downtown Sedalia. The space served the community for decades, as a Vaudeville Theatre and movie theatre, which also hosted live music throughout the years.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

Director of the Uptown Theatre, Marty Lange, says at one point the venue hosted country musicians Tex Ritter and Tex Owens, but the space has been closed for the past 42 years.

Lange is part of local effort to renovate the theatre. He says that Sedalia is at a crossroads, that could host touring bands. According to Lange, the Uptown Theatre could be used as a venue for such bands.

In the past two years, the theatre has been completely gutted out. All the conduit, electrical wiring, and boiler have been removed, along with the plumbing, seating, and stage.

Lange says that historical murals and artifacts from the theatre have been saved, and phase 2 of construction is about to begin.

The renovation project has received lots of donated materials, according to the Lange. He says there is a semi-trailer full of lumber that is ready to be used.

However, the Uptown renovation project still needs about $35,000 to begin tuckpointing.

Lange says tuckpointing is needed to replace the mortar between the bricks, to turn the building into a sound, solid structure again.

According to Lange, the theatre would benefit the area, as it would give residents a place to go to enjoy concerts, classic movies, comedy, live magic shows, and a museum, including concessions.

By the end of the renovation project, the goal is to have seating for 700 people. Lange would like to see the theatre host movie matiness a few days a week, that would include pictures from the Golden Age of film.

Ultimately, Lange said the Uptown Theatre could benefit the community by offering a variety of entertainment that isn’t normally available in Sedalia.

The Uptown Theatre is owned and operated by nonprofit group, Sedalia Downtown Development Inc.

For more information about the Uptown Theatre project and upcoming fundraising opportunities, visit the group’s Facebook Page at Uptown Theatre Sedalia.

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