It's a big day for the State Theatre in downtown Sioux Falls.
The historic venue, built in 1926, received a $500,000 donation along with a new name: The Sylvia R. Henkin State Theatre.
For a theatre rich in both its beauty and history, there's no question it's a true gem in the heart of downtown which is exactly what people call it.
"This theatre will reopen as the Sylvia R Henkin State Theatre," Project director Stacy Newcomb-Weiland said.
That gem was celebrated, Thursday morning, by those who have made the renovations possible, including Sylvia Henkin herself. But, not without a few laughs first.
"Is anyone older than 91 years-old? George McGovern, you're just a kid, you're only 90,' Sylvia Henkin said.
Former Senator George McGovern was just one of many guests at Thursday's announcement. He says he wouldn't miss it for the world.
"I think Sylvia believes it's a blessing to have money and to be able to give it to a worthy cause," George McGovern said. "The state theatre, when it's all rehabilitated, is going to be a beautiful place."
"This is the last jewel in the crown that Sioux Falls has been able to amass. This is going to open a whole new era for people. They'll have matinees and evening shows, and even programs for children. It's a tremendous facility and so versatile, you can to almost anything in here," Henkin said.
For a woman that has lived in Sioux Falls for more than 60 years, she's proud of all she's done... and so is everyone else.
"There is very little opportunity that I haven't had a part of. It's part of keeping this alive, growing, giving back to the community all that it has given to us," Henkin said.
As part of her long history with downtown Sioux Falls, Henkin founded KSOO Radio and KSOO Television which is now KSFY Television.
Project leaders say their effort is to turn the $500,000 into $1 million which they hope to have in the next couple of months. If they reach their goal, the theatre will open in June 2013.
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