WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — When the historic downtown movie theater in Webster City, Iowa, went bankrupt and shut down last year, some wondered whether it was further proof of the small town's demise after a factory closure put hundreds out of work.
Instead, residents rallied. They held public meetings, hashed out volunteer work and launched a fundraising campaign. More than $200,000 later, the theater reopened Saturday.
Webster City's story is playing out across the country, as residents of small communities work to save their historic downtown movie theaters. To many, the hope is that a theater's revival could aid a community's revival, too.
The National Main Street Center, a group that offers tools for revitalizing main street areas, says renovations become a rallying cry for communities.