UPDATE: Show will go on for theatre that burned

By: KAKE News - Email
By: KAKE News - Email
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The building burned Wednesday evening.

Courtesy Patric Begnoche

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ABILENE, Kan. — The show will go on for a theatre that burned earlier this week.

The Great Plains Theatre in Abilene has been deemed a total loss following Wednesday night's fire.

Since then, staff and board members have met and decided to continue its 20th season as scheduled. The third show of the season, Always...Patsy Cline, will open as scheduled on August 8 at the Abilene High School Auditorium. It will run through August 17.

To celebrate the seniors heading to college, the youth improvisational comedy troupe, The Best Medicine, will hold their final show of the season at the First United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m. on July 26.

Theatre staff has moved into a temporary office space at 311 NW 3rd in Abilene and will continue to operate during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Donations are being accepted online at www.greatplainstheatre.com or at P.O. Box 476, Abilene, Kansas 67410.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Previous story:

A fire has left the Great Plains Theatre in Abilene in ruins. A statement from the board Thursday morning declared it was a "total loss."

The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office tells KAKE News that the fire was reported at 7 p.m. Wednesday. When firefighters arrived on scene, the theater was fully engulfed.

Abilene Fire dispatchers reported later it took about four-and-a-half hours to put out the fire. Crews from Salina were called to help.

No one was injured in the fire.

theatre fire
The theatre's board and staff plan to meet Thursday about what a statement calls "the next step of advancement."

The Great Plains Theatre building has more than 130 years of history. The building housing the theater was built in 1881 and served as the First Presbyterian Church for years and was later converted to a live theatre.

It was the second historic Abilene building to be destroyed by fire in less than two years. The Kirby House, a landmark restaurant, burned to the ground in February.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Great Plains Theatre burns

Courtesy Patric Benoche

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