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Mars lands Fox Theatre Institute grant
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The Mars Theatre is getting a boost from one of Georgia’s most venerable performing venues.

The Fox Theatre Institute has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Mars to spur restoration efforts at the Springfield theatre. Gussie Nease of the Springfield Revitalization Corporation is going to Atlanta on Oct. 10 to accept the check.

“I am thrilled to go,” Nease said. “It’s been a long time coming in the relationship with the Fox.”

With the grant, the city and the Springfield Revitalization Corporation plan to improve the lobby and the bathrooms at the Mars Theatre.

Representatives from the Fox Theatre Institute, an offshoot of Atlanta’s fabled Fox Theatre, have visited the Mars. The Fox Theatre Institute’s aim is restoration and revitalization of historic theatres in the state. It has been involved in the restoration of the Ritz Theatre in Brunswick. The Fox Theatre Institute also has had a hand in the restoration of Rome’s Desoto Theatre and the Grand Theatre in Fitzgerald.

The Fox Theatre Institute also will ensure the lobby and bathrooms are restored to match their appearance during the Mars’ heyday in the 1950s. There is no match required on behalf of the Mars for the Fox Theatre Institute grant.

The city of Springfield is seeking requests for qualifications from firms that may be interested in working on the Mars Theatre. The city will take RFQs until Oct. 15.

“I’m excited about getting the contract, and I’m excited about getting the grant,” Nease said.