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Iowa group fundraises to restore 108-year-old theater

February 17, 2018

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — A community theater group in northeast Iowa is making progress toward its fundraising goal of $1.5 million to renovate a 108-year-old mainstay in the historic downtown area.

The Cedar Falls Community Theatre has raised nearly $650,000 for improvements at the Oster Regent Theatre, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported . The Cedar Falls venue attracts about 35,000 patrons each year.

“We have this wonderful facility and a great reputation, and we don’t want to lose all of that,” said Liane Nichols, the theater’s artistic coordinator. “The building is important to us as a venue and as a historical piece for Cedar Falls, and the upkeep of a 100-plus-year-old building is not pain-free.”

General Manager John Luzaich said the renovations will include a new roof and improvements to the stage, curtains, orchestra pit, sound system, Main Street entryway, box seats and marquee. The funding could also go toward an office technology package and a cyclorama, which helps create the illusion of sky, space or great distance at the rear of the stage.

“We also want to establish a musical endowment so we can continue to produce musicals, which are very expensive because of royalties and licensing rights,” Luzaich said.

The group has already raised money through personal contacts and a letter campaign.

Luzaich said they’ll be sharing information in the theater’s lobby and making announcements during shows to find more supporters. He said they’re also reaching out to interested businesses and individuals.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

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