Jan. 18, 2017 – West Bend, WI – Designs being released by the Historic West Bend Theatre Inc. regarding a proposal to save and renovate the downtown theatre.
This is the second plan to come forward. The first plan was unveiled by David Stroik and Claire Rolfs. That design involves saving the facade of the building on N. Main Street and then razing the remainder of the structure and turning it into an open-air park that leads to the Milwaukee River.
The other proposal is featured in concept drawings prepared by the architect Scott Georgeson. Some of the upgrades include flexible seating, an extended stage and orchestra pit, expanded dressing rooms and opening the back of the stage for a view of the Milwaukee River.
Some of the other details include new rigging and lighting, a new recording booth and projection booth and new marquee balcony.
The group looking to renovate the downtown theatre is scheduled to speak before the West Bend Common Council on Monday, Jan. 23. The mayor has made clear the council has no say in the future of the theatre since it is privately owned by Matt Prescott.
According to spokesman John Torinus the Historic West Bend Theatre Inc. has applied for status as a 501-c3.
During Monday’s meeting Torinus said the sketches, shown above, will be reviewed. Architect Scott Georgeson is also expected to be on hand.
“We’re still studying the feasibility at this point,” Torinus said.
As far as financing is concerned, Torinus said they don’t have any total cost for the renovation but they are talking to donors. “We’ll probably do some crowd funding, and we’re trying to get up to 1,000 angel members and enlarging our list of a broad base of supporters,” he said.
Grants and credits are also on the table, according to Torinus regarding how the project will be financed.
“I know a lot of people in the community would like to see the theatre preserved intact, whether we can pull that off I don’t know but we’re doing the work,” he said.
Moving forward, Torinus said the theatre group is going to be totally transparent. “This is a public undertaking,” he said. “We’ve got to get the community behind this thing.”