Laramie Main Street Alliance (LMSA) is excited to announce its stewardship of the historic Wyo Theater, located at 309 S. 5th Street, which they acquired through a generous donation.
“We are honored to play a role in the revival of this landmark for the enjoyment of the community. There are so many happy memories associated with this space, from first dates to showings of iconic movies and quality time with friends,” LMSA Executive Director Trey Sherwood said. “As the last historic theater in downtown, this building deserves to be preserved for future generations.”
The Wyo Theater was built in 1925 as the Crown Theater and remodeled in 1950 by Denver architect Charles Dunwoody Strong using streamline modern details. In the last five years, the theater has not been open to the public.
“The Wyo Theater has been such an important part of the fabric of the Laramie community, and so many of us have happy memories of it,” Susan Aronstein, Professor of English with the University of Wyoming said. “We took our kids to $3 movies there and met friends at the Sunday night film series. Now we have an amazing opportunity to revitalize and reopen the Wyo. I am really looking forward to working with Main Street and our community to make this happen”.
Sherwood shared, “We are working on a feasibility study and are finding there is a need for a mixed use, entertainment venue downtown. However, before that can happen, the building needs to be brought up to code. Moving forward, we are excited to bring our historic preservation and community engagement skills to the table and identify collaborative partners to who will work with us in the revitalization of the building”.
“We have had many community members ask us about the Wyo theater since NU2U moved into the neighborhood. I am very excited to use the resources we have to engage the community in a project that we know everyone will be very excited to see happen,” Rob Harder, LMSA board member NU2U owner shared. “Even before it had become public I cannot count the number of people that have said they would love to help out if a Wyo project were to come together!”
Currently, LMSA is focused on the Wyo’s physical infrastructure and is exploring costs to bring the building back online.
“Thanks to a grant from Wyoming Main Street, we are working with Wattle and Daub to create visuals for what the interior space could look like. In addition, we have received a $20,000 grant from the Guthrie Family Foundation to help replace the roof and are a recipient of a placemaking grant from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to create a feasibility plan for live performances. Because of our supporters, we are off to a strong start. However, we will need to rely heavily on public and private partners, as well as the generosity of this community, to stabilize the building. This will be an expensive and time consuming, yet very worthwhile, project,” Sherwood explained.
To make a tax deductible contribution to the “Save the Wyo” campaign for rehabilitation costs visit: https://laramiemainstreet.org/the-wyo-theater or mail a check to 115 Ivinson Avenue, Laramie, WY 82070 care of LMSA.
Laramie Main Street Alliance is not affiliated or in any way officially connected with the Wyo Theatre, Laramie Facebook Page or www.laramiewyo.com. Information from LMSA on the status and progress of this project can be found at laramiemainstreet.org.
Laramie Main Street Alliance strives to preserve historic downtown Laramie while enhancing its economic and social vitality. Main Street’s services are free to any property owner or business in the historic district, which stretches from Clark to Sheridan along First, Second and Third Streets and runs down Ivinson and Grand Avenue to the Ivinson Mansion and Albany County Courthouse.
For more information about this project, to volunteer your expertise, offer assistance or make a contribution, please reach out to Trey Sherwood at 307-760-3355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.