COLDWATER – Coldwater and Tibbits Opera House may garner some additional attention through the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT) as Tibbits Executive Director Christine Delaney has recently been appointed to the organization’s Board of Directors.
LHAT, founded in 1976, is a non-profit organization created to sustain historic theatres for the benefit of their communities and future generations. The group’s charter members started out simply trying to unite historic playhouses across North America. It has grown to over 1,100 users representing 380 historic theatres and organizations. LHAT has become the professional network for theatre owners and operators to connect with others who face the unique challenges of historic theatre ownership and operation.
Though first a member back in the 1980s, Tibbits Opera House has been a current member for the past 16 years, nearly as long as Delaney has been executive director. A frequent attendee of the LHAT conferences Delaney says the experience has been invaluable, “LHAT has been a great resource to me in helping to strengthen and grow the Tibbits organization especially providing valuable insight into fundraising and restoration.” With her appointment to the LHAT board she adds, “I look forward to helping other theatres with their restoration journey.”
To be a part of LHAT historic theatres must be at least 50 years old and, be an architecturally significant structure deemed worthy of preservation, or have played an important role in the history of American stage and screen, or be used as a performing arts facility. Tibbits last week celebrated its 136th anniversary making it notable for its age as well as its creation as an opera house. Its restored façade demonstrates an exemplary example of French Second Empire architecture and the theatre has been an active performing arts facility for 55 years.
Whether looking to restore, reopen, maintain or just improve operations, LHAT members have access to peers in theatres of all sizes and stages of renovation and operation, as well as theatre industry professionals whose services range from architecture and design to lighting to stage equipment to ticketing and much more. Delaney hopes through her position on the board she can “offer insight and experience for small, rural historic theatres, especially those over 100 years old.” Her term will begin in January.
For more information on Tibbits and its history go to Tibbits.org or call 517-278-6029.