The Rome Area Heritage Foundation (RAHF) proudly announces a $3,000 grant to the Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation (HDTF) to support a crucial safety enhancement project for the beloved historic building. This generous contribution aligns with RAHF’s commitment to preserving and enhancing the rich cultural heritage of Rome, Georgia.

Established in late 2008, the Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation has been dedicated to the renovation and preservation of the DeSoto Theatre through events, programs, and education. The Foundation aims to maintain the historic integrity of the theatre as a cherished community asset, overseen by the local leadership of its Board of Directors.

The HDTF sought help from the RAHF to facilitate the purchase and installation of new historically accurate safety hardware for the theatre’s three front double doors. This project is pivotal for the safety of both the historic DeSoto Theatre and its patrons. The new hardware will replace the outdated 1960’s safety systems, offering improved safety measures for emergencies and ensuring the security of the theatre during performances.

The DeSoto Theatre, a cornerstone of Rome since 1929, has undergone various transformations, serving as Rome’s first movie house with “talking pictures” and later becoming a cultural hub for the arts in Downtown Rome. The RAHF grant not only aids in the safety upgrade but also builds upon previous contributions towards re-creating the original neon tube lighting in the vestibule.

Funds for this project are crucial due to the challenges faced by the non-profit in maintaining a 93-year-old building. The wear-and-tear of a public auditorium necessitates top-quality preservation, making the partnership with the RAHF pivotal.

Any organization in Floyd County seeking to preserve history is invited to apply for funding from RAHF for eligible programs and projects that include but are not limited to: signage; interior/exterior restoration; cemetery restoration; research to document the history of a building or artifact; a master plan for restoration; scholarships to a qualifying area student to study preservation; and a variety of other activities and programs that support historic preservation.

For more information on local preservation initiatives, membership opportunities, and applications for grants and scholarships from the Rome Area Heritage Foundation, visit