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Midwest Theater receives $100k grant from Oregon Trail Community Foundation

Midwest Theater receives $100k grant from Oregon Trail Community Foundation

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SCOTTSBLUFF — The OTCF grant will help Midwest Theater marquee to shine brightly again.

Friends of the Midwest Theater has received a $100,000 grant from the Oregon Trail Foundation toward its marquee restoration project.

“Thanks to this generous award, the marquee is closer to lighting up Broadway once again,” Executive Director Billy Estes said. “In 2019 the marquee suffered extensive damage from an inside fire, a triple hail storm and a wind storm. The Midwest Board has worked two and a half years developing a plan for restoration and sustainability on a once-in-a-lifetime maintenance/renovation project to bring our 75-year-old marquee into the 21st century.”

Friends of the Midwest Theater launched a capital campaign in early November. To date, the campaign has raised $319,469. The Midwest has a goal to raise $387,810 by the end of 2021 in order to qualify for a matching grant of that amount.

Scottsbluff’s Midwest Theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1946, The Midwest Theater was designed in Art Moderne style and served for decades as one of the centers of social life in the North Platte Valley. According to an old Star-Herald article, The Midwest Theater marquee could be seen for over 60 miles, and for over 75 years it served as the birthplace of cherished memories — first movies, first dates, first jobs, proposals, glimpses of stars and far-away places — shining from the silver screen.

The Midwest Theater is looking for additional contributions to help get the marquee shining downtown for an additional 75 years. The Friends of the Midwest Theater asks people to consider making an end-of-year gift to The Midwest Theater Marquee project. Gifts can be made in person at the Midwest Theater office at 1707 Broadway, over the phone 308-632-4311, or online at

The Oregon Trail Community Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt public charity that offers grants through funds provided by memberships, donations, bequests, trusts and more. OTCF is also the predominant community foundation in Western Nebraska. For more information about applying for a grant, or starting a fund from Oregon Trail Community Foundation, visit for more information or call 308-635-3393.


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