A couple years ago, Kim Jennings and Winston Bennett purchased the Trail theater in downtown St Joseph with plans to restore and reopen the theater.
Anytime that I pass by the theater, I slow down a little and look for activity in or about the theater. I have never seen anyone around, I haven’t seen anyone ever working on it, The outside looks unchanged. In fact, just last week, I thought to myself that maybe they gave the project up.
I was wrong. It sounds like they have done quite a bit to the structure thus far…
An article came out in the the News Press today stating that owners have been slowly restoring the old Art Deco style Trail theater. The Trail opened on May 2, 1951.
One of the owners, Winston Bennett, told the reporters “We’re making progress,”.
The roof has been repaired. A stage and dressing room has been constructed. The ceiling tiles have been either repaired or replaced. (they didn’t state which)
Winston Bennett stated that the biggest challenge was that it was like a petri dish inside the theater. For those who flunked Biology, he means there was mold, plants and other organisms growing inside the theater, evidently quite extensively. After being closed for several years with a leaking roof, I can just imagine what it looked and smelled like inside.
According to Mr. Bennett, the next hurdle for them is going to be tackling the restrooms. Currently, there are two very small restrooms. There is only one restroom for women and one restroom for men. In the women’s restroom, there is only one toilet. In the men’s restroom, there is one toilet and one urinal. Mr. Bennett said that it’s basic math that those 2 restrooms are not going to work for a building that can seat 450 people. For those of you who have been inside the Trail, can you possibly imagine where they are going to make larger or more restrooms? .That should be quite a task.