The State Theatre's newly refurbished doors will open to the community for some magical movie screenings thanks to a donation by actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson.

The State Theatre for the Arts Board of Directors decided to split the donation between two projects with half going toward work on the building and the other half being given back to the community, said Venita Philbrick, board president.

This grant allows us to give back to the community for all the support that we've had over the 10 years, she said.

The doors at the entrance of the theatre are being restored to their original grandeur. The inside panels are already complete and the outer doors are just about done.

Through the project The Magic of Movies, five nonprofit organizations have been chosen to hold a fundraising event at the State Theatre, which includes a showing of a movie of the organizations' choice, preferably featuring Hanks.

The organizations will be allowed to hold the events free of charge and keep all proceeds except $1 of ticket sales, which will go to the theater board. The board will pay for the cost of the films, licensing fees and costs associated with operating the venue with the Hanks donation.

We were given this so we want to give back, Philbrick said. It's a way for us to swing our doors open wide to the community.

The donation came about when Philbrick invited Hanks and Wilson to a theater fundraiser last year.

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The board had intended to present Hanks with an antique typewriter, which he collects.

Hanks could not attend the event and instead offered the donation. The amount of the donation was not made public.

His continuous support of the State Theatre is very much appreciated, Philbrick said.

Hanks has made other donations to the theater, including several signed posters.

He never did live in Red bluff but Hanks spent summers here when he was young. His mother and stepfather still live here.

Hanks has been a supporter of local arts, and though Red Bluff is not his hometown he has shown generous support for the community, Philbrick said.

Despite the board's decision to cease operation of the theater at the end of June, the donation has allowed the board to develop these two projects, Philbrick said.

The donation won't delay or rid the anticipated closure but it has allowed for enhancing the building and promoting magic.

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The Magic of Movies Project Participants

Jan. 15 Tehama County Mentoring Program Big. The signature event to celebrate National Mentoring Month will dedicate proceeds to help fund cultural, arts and sports outings for mentors and mentees. More info: www.tehamamentoring.org

Feb. 12 Girls Inc. of Northern Sacramento Valley A League of Their Own. The group will sell T-shirts and provide information; proceeds will benefit general operation support for the group, which strives to empower girls to reach their full potential and understand, value and assert their rights. More info: www.girlsincnsv.org

March 12 P.A.W.S. (Partners for Animal Welfare and Safety) Turner and Hooch. The group is dedicated to the prevention of litters, not the destruction of unwanted animals; proceeds benefit the group's spay and neuter program. www.tehamapaws.petfinder.com

April 10 Shasta College Humanities Through Film Event The Cowboys a John Wayne classic. Always a part of Red Bluff Round-Up festivities held in downtown Red Bluff, students will decorate the theater lobby and provide information about the college's programs.

May 7 Kelly Griggs House Museum The Money Pit. The organization will offer silent auction baskets and other items for sale as well as museum history photo show; proceeds benefit upkeep and restoration of the two story 1880s Victorian museum.

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Staff Writer Tang Lor can be reached at 527-2153, extension 110, or at tlor@redbluffdailynews.com