NorShor Theater Marquee shines bright once again

By KBJR News 1

October 29, 2013 Updated Oct 29, 2013 at 9:43 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --It has been three years since the NorShor Theater marquee in Duluth was lit up for its 100 year anniversary.

On Tuesday the lights were back on, temporarily, marking a new beginning for the theater.

The historic NorShor Theater in Downtown Duluth was once a beacon for entertainment, but it has had its fair share of hard times.

"The NorShore Theater was kind of falling apart, it had a strip club in it, we saw gang activity drug activity and prostitution all running out of this historic theater," said Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

The strip club was shut down in 2010 and the Marquee lights were turned off, but on Tuesday, the marquee shined once again.

"I think this means a rebirth; a rebirth for the theater and a continuation for the revitalization of what is going on in our downtown," said Kristi Stokes, President of the Greater Downtown Council.

Sherman Associates along with the NorShor Theater Project Committee invited the business community on a tour to get an update on the renovations and what help they need from the community.

"We are counting on a fairly important $6 million in state bonding allocation that the governor and the state legislators are very supportive of and also asking the local community tonight to help fund raise another $2 million for the total allocation of $24 million," said George Sherman, developer and president of Sherman Associates.

Those funds will help the Duluth Playhouse, which will be managing the space, do what they do best, put on shows.

"It provides a home for many local art groups that are in need of this size venue and that includes the playhouse, if you have been to our facility you'll see that we are selling out especially our musicals, so having this size venue is really important," said Kristine Gradl Seitz, Executive Director of the Duluth Playhouse.

Officials say they are also working with the University of Minnesota Duluth to provide musical educational opportunities for youth and adults.

Officials hope to have the historical state of the art facility complete by Sept. of 2015.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.