The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 26, 2013

Hoopeston group takes over theaters

The Commercial-News

HOOPESTON — The Lorraine II, 214 E. Main St., will open Friday to show movies during the Christmas holiday season.

The Save The Lorraine Foundation recently received the deed and keys to both the Lorraine and Lorraine II as a donation from a former Hoopeston graduate who purchased the buildings from MainSource Bank. Although the original Lorraine Theatre will not be operational for at least a year or two due to needed repairs, the "Little" Lorraine will receive a face lift and open Friday.

Listed on the movie agenda are "Goonies" and "Fast & Furious 6," according to Save The Lorraine Foundation President Jim Richards. The showings will be free to the public. Freewill donations will, however, be accepted.

Concessions will be available with candy products, soda and popcorn. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis but several times are available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Lorraine II has a seating capacity of 49 people.

The scheduled movies times are tentatively set for: Friday — 7 and 9 p.m.; Saturday — 2, 5, 7 and 9 p.m.; and Sunday — 2 and 4 p.m.

For questions contact Jim Richards at or call : (217) 283-6111.

Richards recently made the announcement about the change in ownership. "It now belongs to the Foundation. It’s in our name."

Richards made the surprise announcement at the most recent board meeting. Papers were signed in Danville on Dec. 13, according to Richards, giving the donation of both buildings to the organization. Fontella Fraley Krout, who gave the two theaters to the foundation, is a Hoopeston alumnus.

The goal for this year is to get the Lorraine II operational and open, add a new look to the lobby and concession, show some movies, add a few special educational and entertainment events next year and begin the long process of grant writing to remodel the Lorraine I.

Memberships in the Save The Lorraine Foundation are now available at different levels and can be purchased from Nora Gholson, membership chairman. Memberships with names, address, phone and email/Facebook address can be sent in c/o Nora Gholson, Save The Lorraine Foundation, P.O. Box 247, Hoopeston, Ill. 60942. Checks or money orders are made to Save The Lorraine Foundation.

Levels per year are: Copper membership, $5 (child membership); Quartz membership, $25; Bronze, membership, $50; Silver membership, $100; Gold membership, $500, which is a two-year membership; Platinum membership, $1,000, which is a corporate, five-year membership; and family membership where the head of the household picks membership level and additional members are 10 percent of the level cost.

Donations from interested individuals, former alumni, organizations, businesses and corporations are all welcome and will help the foundation achieve its five-year plan to renovate the Lorraine I and upgrade Lorraine II.

The foundation will, at a future date, have Lorraine ornaments, T-shirts, a complete history of the Lorraine Theatre with an interesting note about one owner who was arrested for showing movies on a Sunday evening, and other special memorabilia for sale.