The Gorge Cinema in Ellora was saved.
“This building was literally falling,” said Kristy Hillis.
He recently bought the Mill Street West property, with plans to restore 18ου Century heritage building.
“It could be the heartbeat of the community,” he explained. “The hope is to do it again, to revitalize it, to bring the newer community out, to bring films, events, music and art that everyone can enjoy again.”
Hillis said the previous owners wanted to demolish the cinema and replace it with a 60-room hotel.
“I just could not imagine a Holiday Inn going to this downtown area.”
Her plan is to restore the exterior to its original condition, maintain the Gorge Cinema and create a small boutique hotel.
The cinema has been housed in the building since the 1970s.
“When Kristy called us, it was very welcome news,” said Payton Curtis, owner of Gorge Cinema.
This is because the previous owner had planned to evict them.
“We just did not know what to do with it,” Curtis said. “It was a very dark time there for a while.”
Thanks to Hillis, the theater will not go anywhere.
“A weight has risen from my chest, the chest of the community,” Curtis said. “Everyone was absolutely excited.”
Mayor Kelly Linton calls it the best-case scenario.
“It’s an amazing theater,” he said. “It’s a jewel that one has the passion to see restored to its former glory. As mayor of Wellington Center, I’m just excited about it.”
Hillis said she is currently working with the heritage committee. The drafts have already been outlined, but it will be several years before her plan is completed.
“Falls down a lot. Unapologetic alcohol guru. Travel specialist. Amateur beer trailblazer. Award-winning tv advocate. Hipster-friendly twitter aficionado”