The roof of the Empire Theater in Halstead has ‘steadily deteriorated’ in recent years.
With minor repairs to loose slabs of slate and major expense when water gets in, it has cost at least £500 a year to patch the roof.
The community wants to renew the theater roof and hoped for funding.
It applied for a National Lottery grant to help with the work, but the offer was unsuccessful.
A council spokesman said: “Replacing the roof of the Empire Theater has been under consideration for some time.
“An application for funding was made to the National Lottery, but after many months of waiting, the Council was told in mid-February that the Lottery would not fund the roof.”
The council has also set aside money in an emergency fund for the project.
The spokesman said: “Understanding the fact that the lottery funds may not be made available, the Council has placed funds in earmarked reserves to cover the repairs.
“The costs have of course increased significantly since the lottery application was made.
“It is likely that the surplus for the current fiscal year will be greater than anticipated at the time of the budget, and it would be wise to use some of the unanticipated surplus to make up the difference to help foot the bill.”
The repair costs £54,000.
The council says there should be “little disruption” to the running of the theater while the work is going on.
The issue was discussed at a council meeting on Monday.
Councilor Andy Munday said: “Personally, I have been trying to get this project off the ground for many years and now is the time to really make it happen.
“As a trustee, I want to do a lot for that.
“We should move on to citation three.”
Councilor Janet Atkinson also said she was “pleased to see the job finally done”.
City councilors unanimously agreed to implement the plans.