PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) — The lights will soon shine bright on the old Temple Theatre in Portland. Not only has the 1930s-era venue been renovated, but city officials are hoping the arts space will breathe new life into the downtown area.

“It’s just top notch. It’s gorgeous,” said Portland Alderman Drew Jennings.

For Jennings, who also sits on the board for the Portland Preservation Foundation, this theatre has been a labor of love that he is more than proud to show off.

The new auditorium, which seats 240 people, has a concession stand and two green rooms.

“We’ve had people go in and look at the green room and look at the stage and the trimwork and everything and say, ‘Man, this rivals the Grand Ole Opry,'” Jennings told News 2.

It’s been a long road to this special moment. The Portland Preservation Foundation purchased the old theatre 10 years ago from a glass manufacturing facility, and quickly embarked on an ambitious, million-dollar effort to restore it to its original beauty.

“In a theatre, you need a nice, sloped floor going down, so we essentially had to go in and jackhammer the entire floor, take it out and put new concrete in,” Jennings described. “It’s brand new from the ground up.”

Over the years, many people in Portland rallied around this project, offering whatever help they could.

“Somebody would do a piece of the project and then we would never get a bill on it,” the alderman said. “It was amazing the way the community came together and really supported the project.”

According to Jennings, the theatre’s grand reopening this weekend could mark a new era for the city he loves.

“I think it’s going to be a catalyst for downtown,” he said.

The first performance at the revamped theatre is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, with the venue hosting the preliminary round for Tennessee Songwriters Week. For just $5 at the door, you can get a ticket to watch original songwriters perform, as well as a drink and popcorn.