Carbondale’s Varsity to become live theater venue
CARBONDALE, IL — A partnership has been formed between two arts groups in Carbondale seeking to transform the former Varsity Theatre into a center for the arts. Carbondale Community Arts and The Stage Co. have joined up to bring the former movie house, closed by Kerasotes Theatres in 2003, back to life as the Varsity Center for the Arts.
The entire renovation project is supposed to cost about $3 million according to Jack Langowski, board chairman of the Stage Co. One auditorium and the lobby are expected to open by this fall, in time for The Stage’s 27th season’s kick-off. Another 300-to-400-seat theater, a gallery and intermission space should be completed by 2012, as funds become available.
The city of Carbondale has been trying to decide the best use for the building since November 2007, when Kerasotes announced it was donating the theater building to the city for community use.
Read more on this story in the article in The Southern.
I would bet that when Kerasotes closed the theatre they put a no movie clause on it to prevent anyone from going in and giving them compitition. They are known for doing this and will do anything to make sure they are the only theatre. When dealing with Kerasotes you have to ask if it’s worth it. They tend to put restrictions on such as you can’t play movies newer than 6 months, can only play movie a couple days a week and limit how many shows on those days. When it comes to live shows they don’t try to limit you as much but when dealing with Kerasotes you have to expect shady dealings and they have many years practice.