The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

September 15, 2013

Fischer poised for comeback

Volunteers busy behind the scenes

DANVILLE — The grande dame sits quietly downtown, showing her age. A passerby might think she’s just another empty shell, waiting for the bulldozer.

Those who know the Fischer Theatre are quick to point out there’s a lot of life left in the lady, and she’s waiting patiently for her close-up.

“In reality, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes,” said Cher Pollock, president of the Vermilion Heritage Foundation board.

The 129-year-old building is still structurally sound and the acoustics in the auditorium are phenomenal, Pollock said. A whisper on the stage can be heard in the projection room a distance away.

“If a tornado goes down this street, I maintain the Fischer will be standing,” she added. “The structure is sound. It just needs some love.”

The Grand Opera House opened on Nov. 5, 1884, at Vermilion and Harrison streets. The name was changed in 1912 when Louis F. Fischer bought the theater; he enlarged and modernized it. The theater closed in 1982.

As part of behind-the-scenes activity, numerous consultants have come through and studies have been done.

The next step, perhaps six months away, is a campaign to raise funds to restore the historic theater to its past glory. Pollock said recent estimates put the price tag at $5 million, and the work could be completed within five years.

“We’re not just sitting here,” Pollock said. “We have an active, dedicated board who loves this building. Everyone on the board has faith we’re moving in a positive direction and will see work begin on the building.”

Board members meet once a month and always have a full agenda, she said.

Linda Federman, a volunteer in the gift shop, agreed that, to the average person, it looks like nothing is being done. “What has to be done is being done and the goal remains the same,” she said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Egg hunt set for Carver Park

    April 17, 2014

  • County to improve portion of Perrysville Road DANVILLE -- Perrysville Road will be the focus of roadwork by Vermilion County Highway Department crews this year. The Vermilion County Board approved a resolution this week to fund the county's portion of the project, which will stretch southeast fr

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS-CN 04-17 Job fair photo Job fair proves popular DANVILLE -- Lorie Ricksy of Danville was all smiles as she was asked to fill out yet another job application Wednesday morning at Danville Area Community College's Career Connections Job Fair. "It's been awesome," she said as she stopped at the emplo

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public housing flat rate rents see changes DANVILLE -- Public housing residents who pay flat rate rents will see increased rents this year. A letter sent to residents last month was in the agenda packet for today's DHA board of commissioners meeting at 4 p.m. at Churchill Towers' community ro

    April 17, 2014

  • Police Reports Incidents reported to police include: Danville Monday: Property damage at Clover Signs, 806 E. Main St. Property damage in the first block of Park Avenue. Burglary in the 2500 block of East Williams Street. Domestic battery in the 1100 block of North

    April 17, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Monday, 11:34-11:40 a.m. -- A medical call in the 700 block of Wayne Street. Monday, 11:37-11:56 a.m. -- A medical call in the 1200 block of Chandler Street. Monday, 5:07-5:15 p.m. -- A medical call in t

    April 17, 2014

  • Run to benefit camp

    April 16, 2014

  • Digital checkout limit increased

    April 16, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    April 16, 2014

  • Hoopeston council hears water project update

    Mike Streff, Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC, updated city council members Tuesday on the continuing progress of the ground and elevated water storage tank project.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Must Read