Des Plaines Theatre Supporters Seek Happy Ending

posted by btkrefft on May 21, 2004 at 3:39 am

DES PLAINES, IL — The Des Plaines Theatre Preservation Society has been fighting to save the Des Plaines Theater, a former vaudeville house in downtown Des Plaines, for over a year and a half. During that time, the theater has been saved from planned demolition and declared eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Furthermore, the society has collected signatures (and money) in support of their drive to convert the 1926 theater into a performing arts center. However, a proposed feasibility study approved by the City Council last summer is now on hold. Meanwhile, the city awaits the finalization of a deal between the preservation society and the theater’s owner (who is now using the theater for Indian films and live concerts).

Doug Bean, the Society’s president, says, “It’s here and it’s waiting for us” of the theater. “We’re trying to do something that will be for the good of the community. Nobody is going to take us seriously unless we have a significant agreement”.

The Des Plaines Theatre Preservation Society is holding a benefit dinner tonight at the Chateau Rand banquet hall which will include a raffle, live entertainment, and a presentation of the history of the theater and the Society. It is hoped that at least $10,000 will be raised at the event.

Society member John Kleinschmidt says that not only should the theater be preserved as an engine to spur on the economic redevelopment of the downtown area, but because of it is a Des Plaines icon. “We want to make sure that the building is protected forever… until it is totally restored as a performing arts center, it will be in jeopardy.”

More information can be found in this report from the Daily Herald website.

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