The historic Imogene Theatre in downtown Milton is for sale at a price tag just under $1 million.
The listing for the 1912 double story theater in the heart of Milton’s historic district went public Feb. 12, and already the building has had its first viewing.
But lovers of the theaters classic architecture and ties to Old Mill Town’s history need not fear said Santa Rosa Historical Society Vice President Cassandra Sharp. She says the building will continue to stand well into the next century, serving at least in part as a performing arts theater.
After all, any sale of the property will be contingent on a restriction to that effect.
“She is pretty much a main nucleus for downtown as far as bringing people downtown for nightlife,” Sharp said.
The Imogene has a storied past. Built in 1912 to serve as a community gathering place, the theater was famous for its vaudeville style shows. Over the years it survived not one but two major fires through downtown, the most recent of which was in 2009. Firefighters fought hard to save the building, but much of her interior was destroyed.
Over the next several years, local history buffs and community leaders worked to build her back to her former glory, and the Imogene of today looks very close to what would have been seen decades ago.
Her stage has been lit up in recent years by musical acts, comedy troops, mystery dinner theater and charity fundraisers. She’s even held host to ghost hunters.
But, as Sharp points out, event venue management is costly and time consuming business for a nonprofit more in the business of preserving history.
“That’s a full time job, and most of our board members have full time jobs,” Sharp said. “It’s time to step aside and let somebody really max her out.”
Sharp said there’s more to offer than just a beautiful stage and event area. With the history museum moved out of the downstairs, the area would make for a good retail or restaurant she said.
The surrounding property would also allow for construction of another building or a courtyard space, projects outside the reach of the historical society nonprofit.
The Imogene Theatre is a 7,935 square foot historic building located on 0.79 acres at 6686 Caroline Street in downtown Milton, directly across from the current Santa Rosa County Courthouse. The list price is $995,000.