Owner of Collins Road Theatres hopes to get relief money from new state grant program

Published: Nov. 7, 2020 at 10:50 PM CST
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MARION, Iowa (KCRG) - Not only did Collins Road Theatres in Marion have to close because of the pandemic; it’s also been closed since August due to significant damage from the derecho.

Chairs that were once in theatres now line the inside of the lobby or are covered in plastic in other parts of the building. Much of the concessions area is also covered in plastic are remodeling continues.

The storm caused about $400,000 in damage. Owner Bruce Taylor says what he saw in the days following the derecho wasn’t good.

“It was pretty ugly in here,” Taylor said. “When I came in the rooftop units had been blown off the roof, the rubber membrane had been blown off. There was just water running from the roof, from the ceiling down to the floor, which kinda destroyed the carpets, the seats, the ceiling tiles and everything in between.”

Fortunately, insurance will help cover most of the derecho-related costs.

But Taylor is hoping to get some relief funding for pandemic-related expenses from a new state program. On Thursday, Governor Reynolds announced the state would be allocating $5.5 million of the CARE’s Act Funds for theatres. Starting Monday, owners will be able to apply for up to $10,000 per screen. Taylor says that would come out $50,000 for his business.

“It could make the difference to our life and death because it has been real slow because of COVID and now being closed because of the storm,” he said.

In order to be eligible for the program, theatres must be showing movies to all ages, have limited restrictions as designated by the governor, and have a revenue loss this year due to the pandemic.

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