The Fountain Green Dance Hall and Theater was built in 1918 as a place for people to gather, enjoy entertainment, and strengthen community ties. The dance hall and theater fell on hard times after it closed in the late 1950s. By the late 1990s, the roof had caved in and the floor rotted away.
Where many cities would have seen the building as a total loss, the small town of Fountain Green found inspiration in the building's heritage as a community gathering-place. City leaders hoped renovating the theater and dance hall would help revitalize Fountain Green's downtown and created the Fountain Green Heritage Committee to lead the effort. Fountain Green citizens rallied around the project. In an amazing outpouring of generosity and community spirit, they donated over 5,000 hours of volunteer time and $150,000 to the project. Just a few phone calls could turn out 20 people for a work party at the building. Numerous local contractors donated labor and materials as well.
The heritage committee worked to preserve the building's existing historic materials and recreate those lost to time. For example, the stenciling on the walls matches the original pattern and new woodwork was stained to match the original colors. The dance hall now serves as a reception facility while the theater will offer movies and a variety of performances.
Through six years of tireless volunteer work, the community brought the Fountain Green Theatre and Dance Hall back to life. In the process, the building gave the community new life. As Fountain Green Mayor Scott Collard explains, "This project . . . is very near and dear to all our hearts and has brought our community together in unity like nothing anyone could ever have imagined."