LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY/WKYT) – Movie buffs in Lexington Saturday were able to get a piece of the Kentucky Theatre to take home with them.

“It’s exciting, you know, you’re used to these big crowds at the theater, and it’s been empty for a year. We’ve been down here, oh my God, I can’t tell you how many nights getting ready for this, and it’s strange to be in this place when it’s empty. And it’s wonderful to see the crowds coming back,” said Hayward Wilkerson, Co-Chair of the Friends of the Kentucky Theatre.

The theater had to close due to the pandemic and is hoping to raise funds to re-open.

“We’ve been closed since October of last year, so a little more than a year now,” said Wilkerson.

The theatre is still short about $30,000 before they can officially re-open, and they are hoping that the community can come to help them out.

“We did have a little bit of bad news with them equipment issues… With our projection system that’s going to make some money, so we do need people to support us if they want to re-open the sooner, we do need people to reach out and help. Easy to find out how to donate, just visit the Kentucky Theatre Facebook page,” said Wilkerson.

They will have to stay closed until the theater can raise funds, but they hope that some magic can happen by next year.

“You know, people really, really miss the theater. Fred Mills, of course, used to be the general manager for years. He’s worked here for decades. He can’t go anywhere in Lexington without someone saying, ‘Fred, when is the theater open inside?’ It means a lot to people. It means a lot to us,” said Wilkerson.

Don’t worry if you missed out, movie lovers. The good news is there are about 1000 posters today, and whatever doesn’t sell will be available to purchase at the Lexington Christmas Parade.