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The Murphy Theatre receives Ohio History Fund grant for restoration


WILMINGTON — The Murphy Theatre in Wilmington will begin work on project “Restoration and Beautification of The Murphy Theatre,” which will address plaster repair and restoration in the historic, 105-year-old structure.

The work will be done on a section of the ceiling and walls near the rear of the auditorium. The project will also restore the ceiling in the inner lobby and replace a modern door in Charlie’s, the bar and concession area, with a historically accurate match to an existing sister door.

The Murphy Theatre applied for $20,000 and received a grant from the Ohio History Connection’s Ohio History Fund in the amount of $15,705 for this project. A matching amount of $13,400 will be applied to this project and is funded through donations, staff labor hours, and volunteer work on the project.

The difference in the funding requested will be covered using grant dollars from a Clinton County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau award, a portion of which were designated for preservation of the theatre. The Ohio History Fund grant request and reward are specific to this historic preservation and restoration project. The project is scheduled to begin in June of 2023. Requests for Proposals will be issued after May 1.

Preserving the theatre and its features ensures that Wilmington keeps this unique and historic venue, ensuring the downtown area is utilized and thriving, offering a destination for the arts and for community connection, and providing opportunity for economic growth and tourism. The Murphy Theatre is an anchoring piece of the downtown, one that Wilmington and Clinton County citizens have worked hard to restore and preserve. Projects like this one will ensure that The Murphy Theatre Community Center’s mission to enrich, educate, inspire, and entertain will continue.

“Restoration and Beautification of The Murphy Theatre” is funded in part by the Ohio History Fund, a grant program of the Ohio History Connection. Donations to the Ohio History Fund make this program possible. The Ohio History Fund is funded through tax check-off boxes, designating a portion of refunds to the fund, or other donations. The larger the donation amounts, the more grant dollars issued.

Visit www.ohiohistory.org/historyfund to learn more. The Murphy Theatre wishes to thank all those who contribute to this fund and to The Ohio History Connection for making this project possible.