Safford Theatre Project

We need your help in purchasing a $50 or $100 brick
The Safford Downtown Association has now partnered with the Gila Valley Historic Preservation Committee along with many others to rebuild the Safford Theatre into an open air performing arts, concert venue and event center in Downtown Safford. Now after showing its last film “Camino Y El Mio” October 6 1975, the front 1/4 of the building will return in grand style with new restrooms, concession stand, and ticket booth. The back 3/4 of the building will return as an open patio with a stage at the north end of the building. With your support we will open in October 2019.

We need your help in purchasing a $50 or $100 brick for the sidewalk in front of the theatre.  77 individuals have helped so far.  Below are examples of the single $50 brick.  Each $50 brick allows for a message of 3 lines with 17 characters (blank spaces are characters also).  $100 bricks offer 6 lines of space.  Please include your message along with your donation.  
If you need to, email your text to [email redacted]

Will we take a larger donation? Of course, let us design your support or sponsorship of the project or an aspect of the building the way you like. 
Call us at [phone redacted]

December 2017 before we started

January 2018: work underway

(artist rendtition of the new patio are in front of the new stage)

(New stage, looking north facing the stage from the patio area)

Why open air? As you can see, the back 3/4 of the building is nonexistent and collapsed. The complete re-building of the theatre moves into a low seven figure dollar amount to completely restore the theater. Interestingly, the theatre opened originally May 5th 1911 as the Airdome Theatre as an open air venue featuring “moving pictures” And now agreeably, an open air venue available for multiple purposes better suits the needs of Main Street and the Gila Valley. Check back for a full history of the Theatre.

Who’s involved? The Gila Valley Historic Preservation Committee (GVHPC) and The Safford Downtown Association(SDA).

Who’s been helping already with time and money? The GVHPC, The City of Safford, the SDA, David and Susan Duros, Bill Lewis, Joe Dominquez, Safford High School Art Department, CMI Signs, B.C. McKinney Theater consultants, City Electric Supply, Volvo Rental, Home Depot, Safford Builders, Attorney Jared Smith, Layton Financial, Mark Efros the Graham County Juvenile Probation Department and many more volunteers have already donated hundreds of hours of labor and in-kind services. The façade of the building has been re-done with several façade grants from the SDA funded by the City of Safford and business and property owners in downtown Safford along with an Eagle Scout project.

We just received a $50,000 grant from United Way Graham and Greenlee County.

The City of Safford has paid for numerous studies from GLHN Architects, Westlake Reed Leskosky and Souder Miller that guide our plans going forward. Safford Mayors Ron Green, Chris Gibbs and Jason Kouts have all contributed their organizing and planning energy as well as labor.

67 individuals and businesses have kept this building project alive over the past 12 years with their financial contributions recognized in the bricks in the sidewalk. Now you can help us get across the finish line.

Why do you need my help? Even with all of the in-kind donations expected, this project budget approaches $385,000. So far we have received $109,700+ in cash, and in-kind labor and services. Funding from another 70+ sources is identified and plausible for up to another $225,000 but there is a gap to be filled from additional contributors. Want to sponsor a portion or aspect of the building? Let us know your ideas. We will have opportunity to sponsor aspects of the completed project. (light fixtures, stage, concessions, seating, etc.)

(new floor plan in design)

What’s the timeline? Complete fundraising will take 18 months. Finish construction will take another 6 months. The building stabilization and clean out, restroom and concessions construction and the patio build out will start in January 2018 and commence incrementally in the first 18 months as we receive funding. The north end stage area and all the trimmings will come in the last 6 months of construction.

(picture of the seats still in the balcony)

(Stairway to the balcony)

(artists rendition of the new outdoor theatre stage)
Looking North at the stage from the patio area.
  • David Himelfarb 
    • $200 
    • 1 d
  • John Ratje 
    • $90 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $150 
    • 6 mos
  • Judith Sears 
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
  • David Gileadi 
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Danny Smith 
Safford, AZ
Jo Hancock