A performing arts group, that’s celebrating its 75th year in Cedar Rapids, has announced a six-million dollar restoration of their flood-damaged home. Theatre Cedar Rapids was forced out of the downtown Iowa Theatre Building in June.
Tim Boyle, executive director of the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the new theater will help revitalize the city. “We can’t simply inflate and rollout a downtown, or a scene or a nightlife or a community. It has to exist on its own and be sustained by itself so that when we bring people to town, they can see it and they can have an authentic and memorable experience,” Boyle said.
Work on the new theatre will begin this spring and it’s expected to open next February. Artistic director Leslie Charipar says the original theatre first opened in 1928 as a vaudeville and movie house. Theatre Cedar Rapids moved into the building in the early 1980s.
“It’s all going to be new and it’s all going to be really user friendly. I think people are going to be blown away by how beautiful this facility is,” Charipar said. The first production in the renovated building will be the Broadway musical hit, “The Producers.”
Charipar says the play’s creator, Mel Brooks, will be invited to the opening performance.