The unusual project, led by the Vermillion Downtown Cultural Association in partnership with USD, was designed to rejuvenate the downtown movie experience for the public while also providing a movie venue for USD students, who benefit from reduced pricing.

Kimberly Grieve, vice president student services and dean of students at USD, served on the cultural association board representing USD.

“The new theater will be state of the art and add to the great vibrancy of the Vermillion downtown area. It will act as a mechanism to attract and retain students and high quality staff and will continue to improve our city’s fantastic town and gown relationship,” Grieve said.

The open house will highlight the new Red Steakhouse Auditorium and various other donor-sponsored improvements including new point of sale systems, online ticketing and website, new sound in Coyote Twin 2, a new ice machine, wheelchair and hearing-impaired accessibility, improved safety exits, concession stand improvements, roof repairs, and exterior and interior painting.

“It is a great celebration in honor of the enormous hard work undertaken by the board and partners in the Vermillion community,” said Grieve, inviting USD community members to attend.

After the open house, the public is encouraged to attend the Chamber Ribbon Cutting and the National Music Museum showing of “Keep on Keeping On” at 7:30 p.m. at the Coyote Twin. The grand opening for the new Red Steak House Auditorium will occur the following evening, Jan. 17, with its regularly scheduled discounted pricing.

“The opening of this auditorium – with stadium seating, new sound and projection, screen, lighting, and egress – is a huge step forward for our community,” explained Jason Thiel, executive director of the cultural association. “Our community fundraising efforts, the generous donation and in-kind support from Masaba, and ongoing support from the Vermillion Chamber, Rotary, Community Foundation, Dakota Hospital Foundation, Sanford, First Bank and Trust, the University of South Dakota, and so many individual donors have made this major leap possible.”

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