GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – The success of Warren’s Robins Theatre has the mayor of a nearby Trumbull County city rethinking his plans for its former theater.

On Monday, Girard Mayor Jim Melfi will ask council for money to buy what was the Wellman Theater and make it the centerpiece for downtown redevelopment.

Melfi wants the city to buy the theater and turn it into a replica of the Robins Theatre.

“The Robins is obviously the Cadillac of all renovations, and Warren was very fortunate to have an individual who went forth with that and spent a lot of money, and that is a great success. This could be a smaller version of it, there’s no doubt,” Melfi said.

Before it was the Wellman, it was the Mock Theater, built sometime in the 1930s. The stair-stepping roof line remains, and there’s still a marquee. The stone facade though was added. The mayor wants it removed and the exterior to be restored to its original look.

“The condition inside is incredible. The original doors, entering from the foyer into the theater are in place. It could be really a turnaround,” Melfi said.

Melfi had pictures of the inside, which is occupied by a church. There’s seating already in place and there appears to be no water damage.

“I talked with one business owner here in the downtown Girard area who says he’s thrilled with the idea of a theater coming in, but he’s concerned about the parking. He says there’s not enough parking for the few businesses that are here right now,” Melfi said.

Melfi says with the city owning the building, it can apply for grants and control what’s in there. He’s also heard from people expressing interest in using it.

“I received a call from YSU’s performing arts center. I’ve received a call from a community group where the individual who runs it is from Girard. So it’s generating a lot of excitement,” Melfi said.

The mayor says the Girard schools are looking to build a performing arts center — he’s reached out to them to possibly partner with the theater.

Melfi wouldn’t, however, release how much the city will pay. He first wants city council to see the number on Monday.