At the Monday noon luncheon meeting Rotarian Jim Schoen, right, hosted guest speaker Karen Moyars of Fowler who spoke about The Prairie Preservation Guild and its efforts to restore the Fowler Theatre.  When the theatre was built in 1940 it was a state-of-art facility with grandiose decorating and all the technological marvels of the time.  The theatre was one of the most ornate and impressive movie theaters in the region.  It was, in fact, one of only five movie theaters in the entire country to premier "Gone with the Wind".  

 Over the years, the theater had fallen into disrepair, and in the spring of 2001 it was no longer showing movies.  When the owner at that time was planning to sell what he could of the architecturally still valuable pieces and convert the theater into a warehouse, Karen Moyars and several other volunteers decided it was time to act.  They formed The Prairie Preservation Guild, a not-for-profit group dedicated to rescuing the historical theater and keeping the cost of entertainment in the community low.  

 In 2001 The Prairie Preservation Guild purchased the Fowler Theatre for $30,000.  Funding was obtained from the Indiana Historic Landmarks Foundation in the form a $2,000 grant and a $60,000 line of credit to purchase and stabilize the building.  The structure was deemed to be an excellent example of art modern architecture (Art Deco) worthy of being preserved.  The building was stabilized and with considerable hard work from dedicated volunteers cleaned up and reconditioned until it was suitable to reopen. 

 In December 2001 the Fowler Theatre reopen with a free movie for Christmas and since that time, movies have been shown every weekend.  The Prairie Preservation Guild has operated the Fowler Theatre entirely with volunteers.  No one has received a salary to date.  There is a sign-up sheet in the lobby of the theater where individuals, families, and community groups add their names to a list of those willing to donate their time to sell tickets, to operate the concession stand, to run the projector, and to clean up after the show.  

 The cost of a show has been kept low because a major goal of the Preservation Guild has been to provide entertainment to the community that would be affordable to families.  The cost of an adult ticket is $5.00 and for children under 13 is $3.00.  This is significantly less than what the movie complexes in Lafayette or Rensselaer charge. The concessions are also reasonably priced.  It's a short trip for most of us in Newton County to Fowler.  There's no reason not to go enjoy a movie and support this unique venue.  Movies are shown every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  To check out what's playing, visit You'll be glad you did!