Published Thu, Nov 1, 2012 11:53 am Dateline
Officials in Eastern Kentucky are celebrating the groundbreaking of a new professional theater.
The Jenny Wiley Theater will find its new home in Pikeville.
Pikeville City Manager Donovan Blackburn says that with the declining coal industry, this area is looking for new ways to draw in both people and money.
So, the city is turning its attention to the arts.
"We are looking at ways we can diversify our economy. We have got a lot of tourism initiatives that have been going on for some time. The city commission adopted a resolution naming the downtown area as an arts and cultural district," says Blackburn.
The theater is set to open in December 2013 and will seat at least 200 people.
Blackburn says the theater will not only help bring people into the community it will also help educate the theater majors at the University of Pikeville.
"This Jenny Wiley Theater piece is a major component of that. It's a year-round theater tied into our community and again attracting people from all over the region so we are very excited about the opportunities," says Blackburn.
The new theater will cost $3.5 million.
The existing Jenny Wiley outside amphitheater in Prestonsburg will still remain open for summer shows.