Wheaton Grand Theater to Close for Restoration April 1st
WHEATON, IL — The Wheaton Grand Theatre on Hale Street in downtown Wheaton has set a date of April 1st for the start of its restoration project, and will also be closed starting that date, which means its frequent rock shows will have to find a new host for the time being, according to this article in the Daily Herald.
The 80 year-old theater will be closed indefinitely while work on the estimated $7 million restoration kicks off. The goal is to bring the Grand back to its original single, 800-seat auditorium configuration. Ray Shepardson, who is the managing director of the restoration project, says, “I did not understand how effective and popular [the theater] was. But if we didn’t close now, the restoration was never going to happen.”
In addition to the theater itself, the facade and storefronts will also be included in the restoration. The theater is using a historic tax credit and is under the protection of the Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency.
Says Shepardson, “The more I know about the area, the more comfortable I am that this is going to be a success. It’s a great location. I haven’t run into the first person who’s afraid to come to downtown Wheaton.” The theater’s last major event was Sunday, hosting a seven hour-long jazz festival. There are several more rock concerts scheduled to play the theater before it closes on April 1.
For more information, visit www.wheatongrand.net
It’s great to hear the theater lives on but I’m trying to figure out whats so grand about it. Both the Glen and the Wheaton Theaters were just plain jane big barns in their days. I grew up in Glen Ellyn and attended the DuPage, Glen, and the Wheaton theaters regularly and the Dupage was the only gem of the trio. Sadly the real gem is gone.