The first year for the Mars Theatre has been boffo, Springfield director of cultural affairs Tommy Deadwyler said.
The Mars opened a year ago after a long-awaited renovation, and the restored theatre has been receiving glowing reviews.
“I think we’ve had a pretty darn good year so far,” Deadwyler said.
The theatre has had 15,472 tickets sold for movies and live events as of April 11 Deadwyler reported.
“Those numbers are very good,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Mars is continuing to gain attention beyond Springfield and Effingham County. There are more than 1,000 people on the Mars’ email list, who receive a newsletter on events and happenings every two weeks.
Social media also has been a powerful tool for the Mars — it’s up to 3,000 likes on Facebook and its Twitter account is up to 190 followers.
“Word is getting out,” Deadwyler said.
And people are coming from beyond Effingham County. Springfield Mayor Barton Alderman said he’s encountered people coming from Sun City in South Carolina.
“It’s interesting to talk to people at the concession stand and see where they were from,” he said.
Springfield City Manager Brett Bennett said word of mouth has been effective in promoting the Mars and its programs. The Mars was featured in the February edition of GeorgiaTrend magazine as one of five places to visit.
“It all takes time,” Deadwyler said. “It’s a three-to-five-year plan. We’re getting to our critical point now. We obviously have something we’re proud of.”
The city also has been awarded a $33,000 coastal incentive grant from the state Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division.
The money will go toward providing public access to Ebenezer Creek at Log Landing.
“That will be progressing in the coming months,” Bennett said.