La Grange Theatre - needs $3.5 million for restoration

posted by philbertgray on November 26, 2007 at 7:49 am

LAGRANGE, IL — The La Grange Theatre faces the challenge of many neighborhood theatres today. How do you come up with $3.5 million dollars to restore a theatre that has fallen into hard times?

An article in Suburban Life discusses the dilemma the owners of the La Grange theatre in Illinois face. “How do you find the necessary funds to save a neighborhood theatre that faces the few remaining theatres today?” Also addressed is “how viable it is to return the theatre to its former grandeur if you get the funding?”.

Sadly, in todays economic times, both questions seem near impossible tasks. The $3.5 million estimate entails a complete gutting of the structure, including rebuilding walls, and would require closing the theater for up to nine months. Still, the theater would not be classically restored to its past grandeur.

Trustee Mark Kuchler asked what will happen if the village cannot provide funds. Rot said the building would then need to be looked at more as an investment property than a theater. In plain language that means the theatre would either be converted to another use or demolished for another structure.

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Comments (6)

corvetteguy1963 on November 26, 2007 at 7:43 pm

La Grange is a highly yuppified area ,and the downtown has become too expensive to house this botched theatre.If it isn’t condos ,or expensive shops ,face it ,they always WERE going to try to get rid of this theatre ,and the owners don’t help their cause any by letting it get as run down as it has gotten!

CatherineDiMartino on November 27, 2007 at 12:11 pm

My good friend and fellow CT'er Paul F told me about this theatre and so I went with my husband to see it. We saw SHREK THE THIRD here. I like this place. No, it’s not the most modern, up-to-date place. But the employees are nice and the service is friendly. We “triple-dated” this past weekend: Me and my husband, Paul F. and his fiancee, and my husband’s sister and her boyfriend. We saw 3:10 TO YUMA. We had dinner down the street from there.

This place certainly is certainly popular with the locals. That is not the problem. It does need a lot of work. It is old. Yes, it is subdivided, but it still has a certain charm. I wouldn’t even mind if they kept it a four-screener. But as the poster above says, LaGrange has become “Yuppie.” And belive me, “Yuppies” are a race of people who have no care for esthetics and can’t see the intrisic value of having a nice, inexpensive theatre.

Pano1974 on November 28, 2007 at 1:05 pm

I live in the area and like the theater. If the owners want to come up with the money, they will. Don’t count on the politicians in La Grange, go to other avenues. They need to have someone there to fundraise. Look at other theaters and what they have done. I want to see this work.

CatherineDiMartino on November 30, 2007 at 7:27 am

Wasn’t private money used to re-open the Portage in Chicago?

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