Renovations Considered for Historic Columbus Theater

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WOWO): City leaders are considering restorations to the historic Crump Theater in Columbus.

Danielle McClelland, Executive Director of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington, was tasked with the study and presentation. She said that she compared seven similar communities nationwide, as well as other communities that recently restored historic theaters. She also cited an earlier feasibility study done by the consulting firm, Jones & Phillips.

McClelland said that a renovated Crump should be a success. Citing the city‘s world-renowned architecture and strong arts presence, she said that the study indicated that the demographics of Columbus match the highest-performing arts audiences across the nation. “McClelland said that means that “the type of people that live in Columbus are the type of people that spend the most money on arts and entertainment.”

As it stands now, she says Columbus government and businesses are missing out on that money, as it is being spent somewhere else. McClelland‘s presentation indicated that there would be a strong need for public and private input and funds to get the Crump where it needs to be.

She envisions a two-year period of renovation and occasional theater offerings. While the city would own the theater, professionals would be brought in to manage the facility and man the box office. McClelland‘s findings indicate a need of approximately $1.25 million from local government and private donations.

Spending would peak in year two before dropping off considerably. City Council member Frank Jerome said the decision on whether or not to move forward with the plan will be up to Mayor Kristen Brown and the City Council. There was no indication given as to when action or further discussion on this proposal would be taken.