The budget passed Thursday by the Kentucky House includes an amendment that gives $25,000 annually to the Plaza Theatre in Glasgow.
The floor amendment was a late addition Wednesday by budget chairman and bill sponsor Rick Rand, D-Bedford. State Rep. Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, said he worked to have language added to the amendment that would allow money formerly allocated for another area theater to shift to the Plaza.
“It had been going to Horse Cave Theatre, but when that theater closed, sadly, I was able to retrieve that money and keep it in this region,” Bell said.
Kentucky Repertory Theatre, which was owned by Horse Cave Theatre 76 Inc., closed last year. The property and its contents were sold Dec. 6 in a master commissioner’s sale.
Bell said he wanted the money to stay in the region and that the Glasgow theater is a great venue to support.
“The Plaza to me is an icon in our community. It’s been around since I was a small child,” Bell said.
Bell said the money is tourism-related and that the theater is “a multi-faceted facility and that qualified it for the money.”
Glasgow Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman said she learned over the weekend about the possibility of the money coming to Glasgow.
“Johnny Bell contacted me about allocating money to the Plaza,” Trautman said. “This is not new money, as I understand it, it is money that was previously for Horse Cave Theatre.”
The mayor said receiving $25,000 annually from the state would allow less money to be allocated from the city’s general fund budget for the theater.
“The Plaza is a city department, but it has a standalone fund,” she said. Any outside money, through fundraisers, ticket sales and any other sources that pushes the Plaza toward being self-sustaining is good for the theater.
“I am happy to hear we might be able to receive this money,” Trautman said.
Bell said because the $25,000 is not new money in the budget, he expects it to make it through the Senate budget process intact.
“It’s something that has been in the budget for a number of years,” he said. “I am happy that we got that money. I believe the money will be used in a way … that it will be returned to (the region) many times over.”
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