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Volunteers help Mars get new seats
Volunteers help unload seats that will go into the soon-to-be renovated Mars Theatre in Springfield. - photo by Photo by Rick Lott

About 30 volunteers gathered at the old Bi-Rite  store in Springfield to move over 200 theatre seats into temporary storage in preparation for the restoration and reopening of the historic Mars Theatre in downtown Springfield.

Each of the chairs had been separated into four parts — the back, the seat and two steel legs, so over 800 parts had to be transported and stored.

In addition to the seats, there were several other donated pieces of equipment from another theatre including an old popcorn machine. That piece turned out to not be usable, but there were others that were salvaged for future use in the theatre.

“We sure are grateful to all our volunteers for giving up some of their weekend to help us get all this sorted out and stored,” said Barbara Oglesby. “We particularly want to say thank you to Frank Patterson, scoutmaster of Troop 295 of Guyton, for all their help.”

With the help of scout leaders Mark and Kenneth Bennett, Kenny Usher, Bret Leonhardt, Dockie Blackbrun and Chris Payton, the scouts and other volunteers got the task done in short order. Scouts taking part included Zachary Harrell, Jonathan Harrell, Mikell Bennett, Luke Usher, Trevor Baeten, Kyle Leonhardt, Jack Blackbrun and Hunter Payton.

Other volunteers for the morning included Jason Webb, Bubba Oglesby, Barbara Oglesby, Gussie Nease, Chris Mason, Steve Mason, Lynn Stone, Guy Downing, Mary Downing and Rick Lott. The use of the building for temporary storage was donated by Wilson Insurance and water for the volunteers was donated by Snooks IGA.

Construction for Phase I of the Mars Theatre is scheduled to begin this fall.