Would you like to help?
As you may know, the Concrete Theatre has been closed since March 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This unplanned shutdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for us. We had just purchased the building next door, with the plan for a major expansion. We thought long and hard about whether to go forward or put everything on hold. Ultimately, we decided to follow our hearts and move ahead with our vision of creating something bigger and better than before.
We knew the theatre was an important meeting place for a lot of you and that the community relied on the venue for entertainment and engagement. We also knew we were limited by the small lobby and lack of informal seating for discussions. And we wanted more space for dinner theatre events and birthday parties and the ability to offer film festivals … and on and on.
Plus, we’ve always thought there should be an ice cream shop in Concrete!
So the acquisition of the building next door, originally the Monrad Grocery built in 1915, just made a lot of sense. Never mind the fact that it had no heating system, that the floors and ceilings and lighting would all have to be replaced, that it had suffered years of neglect. We took a leap of faith and started in.
We have spent these last months in the new building, tearing out walls, connecting the two buildings, emptying the basement of decades of debris, cleaning up and hauling away. We’re installing new plumbing, flooring, lighting and heat.
And we’re very carefully choosing the best products for what will be the Act One Ice Cream Shoppe. (This is not an easy job, do you know how much ice cream we’ve had to eat?!)
Some of you may be following our progress reports via our email updates (you can subscribe here), and know that progress has been slow but steady all winter. Our target date for opening Act One is May 2021. We hope to be able to reopen the Theatre with movies and events soon after, but that will depend on vaccinations and community spread of the virus.
The expansion is expensive. If you’ve ever remodeled an old house, you may be familiar with the sinking feeling of finding out what’s behind the walls, or getting the estimate for electrical installation.
Without the income from the Theatre, we’ve been digging deep into our reserves, savings and all other resources to make this expansion happen. We’ve applied for and received grants, taken out loans, and gratefully accepted donations from our fans. We know that many people are struggling to make ends meet, so we have not wanted to pressure anyone. But some of you have said you want to support this project — that Town Center will be better and more dynamic and that you look forward to what we can offer.
If you’d like to donate, please use the button below. Your contribution in any amount will be deeply appreciated.