After nearly a year of restorations, the old Rex Theatre is starting to “Glo.”
By Monday, the class project-turned-startup business Glo will move its office into the newly renovated space at 101 W. Main St.
Tuesday afternoon, Glo CEO Hagan Walker walked through the theater imagining the possibilities this new area entails for his company.
From its Main Street door, you can see directly toward the former stage of The Rex.
Although the expansive auditorium will serve largely as warehousing for Glo — which produces and sells light-up cubes activated by water — you can still see the remnants of the 1930s theater with the stage still intact.
Walker said with triple the size as its former building on Lampkin Street, he’s excited to see Glo continue to expand.
“This is just quite a bit bigger,” he said. “The ceilings are 32 feet high, so we can go really high on pallet racking and storage and that’s just a huge bonus.”
Walker partnered with Castle Properties and the Masonic Lodge to revitalize the former theater. The $1.4 million renovations are nearly completed and even a replica of the Rex Theatre awning hangs over to light up Main Street.
“It’s honestly amazing to see where it was to what it is now,” Walker said.
Though excited to move into The Rex and get to business, Walker and his business partner Anna Barker are focused on the April launch of their partnership with Sesame Street for Glo’s toy’s division: Glo Pals.
Before Glo Pals launched in 2018, neither Walker nor Barker considered expanding the novelty drink light to the children’s toy market.
“Glo Pals started because a mother with an autistic child reached out to us and found that the Glo cubes worked in liquid,” Walker said. “She took one home to her son and put in the bathtub and it was the first time in months he had gotten in the tub without crying. She … told us that and that’s what kind of created the toy side of things, and that kind of took off.”
Coming full-circle, Glo announced its partnership with Sesame Street for Glo Pals last year. Now, the company will offer two Sesame Street characters: Elmo and Julia, a muppet with autism.
“(Sesame Street is) taking really high level topics that are incredibly difficult and incredibly sensitive and they are breaking it down to an elementary level that even kids can get them,” Barker said. “Obviously, (Julia) is wonderful as far as representation for kids with autism. But she’s also wonderful for kids who don’t have autism. They are seeing how she does things differently and how characters on Sesame Street react.”
Sometimes the good news just keeps coming.
Walker announced there’s a literal sweet spot coming to the corner of the Rex. Proof Bakery owners, Bonnie and Robbie Coblentz, plan to open a dessert shop.
“It’s still in the works, but we wanted to do something here,” Walker said. “We’re taking up this big building and we thought we needed to do something cool for the corner.”
Since plans are in the early stages, everything is to be determined, but the Proof owner duo is excited about bringing something sweet to Main Street.
“We’re excited about the renovation of the Rex,” Robbie said. “We love that area of downtown with the bakery and we’re excited about what’s going to happen next door. We’re excited about bringing another culinary offering to Main Street.”
In Starkville, we’re rounding out Black History Month with the first Culture Festival this weekend. Big Dawgs Station 26, 804 Old West Point Road, will host area Black-owned businesses, food vendors, music, food giveaways, voter registration and more.
Be sure to show your appreciation and support for area businesses Friday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Big Dawgs.
Moving to Columbus, a new financial firm popped up downtown.
Covington Wealth Management, 420 Main St., plans to officially open mid-March. Tyler Covington, the firm’s president, decided after several years in financial planning to open his own firm.
“We stand firmly in the belief that time tested investment principles are the foundation of any financial plan,” Joanna Covington, operations manager, said. “We help our clients achieve their financial goals by creating a comprehensive plan that encompasses all aspects of their life.”
The firm will officially open March 15 and with hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m.