The effort to restore the Auburn Schine Theater may have more momentum behind it now than ever before.
It was 20 years ago in January that the Cayuga County Arts Council purchased the dilapidated South Street building in order to resurrect the art deco movie palace that opened there in 1938. The council started by replacing the building's leaky roof later that year and its distinct green and terracotta doors in 2007. But for the better part of the last decade, the project has stagnated.
It was also in January, however, that crews finished removing the source of that stagnation: the Schine's asbestos and other hazardous materials. With people now able to enter the building safely, and a recent $1.2 million grant from the state, the project once again has the room and the resources to move forward. It is expected to cost $6 million and conclude by October 2019.
Those estimates come from Bowers Development, of Syracuse, which has partnered with the arts council to restore the Schine — and plans to buy it.