Safford Theatre Project soliciting individuals’ help

David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central. The Safford Threatre's renovation is currently on hold during the pandemic.

SAFFORD — Funding challenges may have slowed progress on the renovation of the Safford Theatre, but that doesn’t mean the project has stopped.

“We’re in a bit of a pause right now,” said Danny Smith, president of the Safford Downtown Association, during a recent appearance on Voice of Valley. “Our goal was to be done by October 2019 — a few months ago — so it’s taking a little bit longer to get done, but it’s a big project.”

The theater, which opened in 1911, is being completely remodeled into a partial open air design that can be used for events in the Downtown area. Smith said the remodel is about 65 percent complete.

Slowing the finish is the loss of two traditional funding sources — the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties and the Freeport-McMoRan Community Foundation — due to the funders shifting their focus to helping communities get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Smith said there is still a way for the public to help.

“We have sold about 80 or 90 bricks that are in the sidewalk. They’re $100 (and) you can buy one through our GoFundMe page,” Smith said.

The bricks are inscribed with the donors’ names. To purchase a brick or to make a donation in any amount go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/saffordtheatre.

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