Valley Cinema Renovation Funded

Another fantastic bit of good news for Ord: the Valley Cinema (the Old Ord Theatre) renovation project has been funded by a community development block grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development!!!

You can read the official press release from Governor Heineman’s office below.  You can also download a brief project prospectus here – part of our effort to sell the historic value of the project.  A special congrats to Brian and Kelly Magiera and the community of Ord, and a huge thank you to NDED and Central Nebraska Economic Development District, our partner organization that provided grant writing assistance.  We’ll have more details to come, so check back often for updates – I know of one news outlet that is already running the story.  Yee haw!

Gov. Heineman Awards $360,550 in Community Development Funds to McCook and Ord

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today announced that McCook and Ord will receive $360,550 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for two theater projects.

The City of McCook and the Alliance for the Encouragement of the Visual and Performing Arts will use a $254,300 CDBG award to remove material and architectural barriers within the historic Fox Theatre in downtown McCook. The project will include a variety of renovations including adding wheelchair accessible seating, relocating a heating, ventilating and air conditioning system, and providing ramp access to the stage.

The refurbished arena is expected to attract a wider audience, including elderly and disabled patrons. Long range goals involve fully restoring the historic theatre. Additional matching funds of $81,900 from the Alliance for the Encouragement of the Visual and Performing Arts will complete the project.

The City of Ord will use a $106,250 CDBG award to rehabilitate and convert the existing historic Valley Cinema into a theater that also accommodates theatrical and cultural presentations, plays, music events, comedy shows, speakers, charity auctions, and other events. The project will include converting the theater to a live performance venue, including constructing dressing rooms, restoring the stage and orchestra pit, modernizing lighting and sound systems, restoring the theater lobby and concession areas, installing a large retractable screen and widening restrooms and walkways.

Additional matching funds of $99,750 from BAK Properties, Inc., and Valley Cinema will complete the project.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development administers the state’s share of CDBG funding. This CDBG funding is under the Nebraska Tourism Development Initiative (TDI). The Nebraska TDI program is administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Qualifications for TDI funding require the physical development of new tourism attractions, or physical improvements to existing attractions. Applicants must provide local contributions equaling or exceeding 25 percent of a project’s total cost.

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Editor’s Note: For information about the McCook/AEVPA project, contact Lea Ann Doak at 308-345-1461 or For information about the Ord project, contact Caleb Pollard at 308-728-7691 or For information about the Nebraska Tourism Development Initiative, contact Tom Doering at 402-471-3784, or

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