Lincoln Theatre finding different ways to make money while shutdown

Lincoln Theatre renting marquee while closed

FAYETTEVILLE, Tn. (WAFF) - Restaurants and retailers now have the option to reopen in Tennessee, but other businesses are still left waiting.

The historic Lincoln Theatre in downtown Fayetteville is one of those businesses. Owner Christy Freehauf said they may not be able to open until late July or August.

The Lincoln Theatre has been open since the 1950s, Freehauf said when the closure is over it may be the longest the theatre has ever been closed.

To reopen, theaters would need to make major changes to allow for movie-goers to social distance.

On top of that, Freehauf said no one is making movies right now, so there are no new movies for people to watch.

In the meantime, they’re renting out the marquee for people to put messages on for everyone across downtown Fayetteville to see.

Freehauf said they have done all sorts of things, from birthday messages to advertising for businesses.

“It’s just been a fun uplifting way to really help our community, because it has been a hard time for a lot of people with losing jobs, and even if you haven’t lost your job and you’re working from home," she said. "It’s nice to see a bit of positivity.”

On Tuesday, one side of the marquee said, “Happy Heavenly Birthday Brittni", Freehauf said that is a message from a mother to her late daughter. The other side of the marquee said, “I love you Alyssa, Love David”, she said that is a message from a military member stationed overseas in Germany, to his girlfriend back in Fayetteville.

On Wednesday, the marquee advertised where people could get free COVID-19 testing in Lincoln County.

Despite not being able to reopen her business, Freehauf is excited to see other in downtown Fayetteville open their doors.

“It’s been so dead, the square has been so dead and I hate seeing that," she said. “I love to see downtown business thrive, especially being a small business owner, we really thrive on our downtown business and people being able to walk around."

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