Egyptian Theatre feasibility study on DeKalb agenda
A feasibility study for the Egyptian Theatre was on the DeKalb Committee of the Whole agenda again recently.
The original presentation on Jan. 9 was postponed due to the consultant's illness.
City staff, board members and Janis A. Barlow & Associates consultants have been working on a plan to transform the historic theater into a performing arts center that will draw patrons to the city's downtown. The DeKalb 2025 Strategic Plan included the theater in the long-term plans for the city. Among the goals of the operations feasibility assessment was finding ways to make the establishment profitable.
The assessment, now complete, has provided recommendations to leverage the theater's significance in the region and nationally. A cost-effective retrofit design and upgrade will give the historic vaudeville theater greater flexibility and income potential.
By changing the governing body of the theater from the community-based volunteer board to a public-private structure, the city can work to transform it into a public asset. This would also allow the city to obtain public funding and supervise the capital upgrades.
To help determine the value of the theater on the downtown economy, the Community Development Department as well as theater volunteers conducted surveys of patrons and performers. The positive financial impact on downtown businesses falls between $1.35 million and $2.7 million per year, with approximately 40 percent of the dollars being spent in local restaurants.
With the recommended improvements and upgrading to a performing arts center, revenues into the local economy could increase by an estimated $2.34 million to $4.67 million.
The council will have the opportunity to review the report and make its own recommendations before taking action.
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200 S 4th St
DeKalb, IL - 60115