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SRC takes possession of Mars Theater
10.02 mars on main sign
Mary Downing, back, and Charles Hinely sign the documents for the Springfield Revitalization Corporation to take ownership of the old Mars Theater in Springfield. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

The stage is set.

The Springfield Revitalization Corporation completed its purchase of the old Mars Theater in Springfield and now is ready to proceed with the plans for the “Mars on Main” project.

“We are really excited about the future,” said SRC member Rickey Kicklighter.

In September 2006, SRC members broached the idea of bringing the old Mars Theater, which had been dormant for nearly 50 years, back to life. Their concept was greeted warmly.

Citizens Bank of Effingham provided financing for the deal. Now, the SRC can turn its attention to raising funds for the project to get the Mars in working condition.

The first step is being called Act 1. Fundraising levels range from what is being called stage crew (from $100-$999) to cast ($1,000-$2,499) to stars ($2,500-$4,999) to directors ($5,000-$9,999) and founders ($10,000 and up).

Among the goals for the Mars are to provide a center for arts and arts education in Effingham County and coastal Georgia and to attract local and regional shows. Also in the plans are a cinema festival and school.

“It’s in Springfield, but it’s really an Effingham project,” Kicklighter said. “I think this is a project everyone can enjoy. We have a lot of high aspirations for it.”

Springfield City Council has backed the project as well.

“I think it’s a good idea for Springfield,” said Councilman Charles Hinely. “I’m going to do what I can to help support it. I think they’ve got a good crew going right now. The whole county will benefit.”

SRC members bought the land and the building from the Ramsey estate, represented by Drs. Speir and Jack Ramsey, and the McGinniss trust, represented by Carolyn McGinniss. The Ramseys are donating their share back to the SRC for the Mars on Main.