Repairs needed to improve safety of old theater

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City writes notice after bricks fall from building

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)– A more than 100 year old theater is falling apart. The city says it has to be fixed or it could be demolished. “The Lincoln Square Theater is really a beloved landmark here in Decatur,” said Jerry Johnson, Executive Director of Decatur Area Arts Council. “Incredible acts used to come to Decatur and perform there,” said Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe.

However, it could all be a memory if no one steps in to save the theatre. Last week, the city posted a notice because bricks are falling off the back. It says in part: “The building must be made safe or demolished within thirty days.” “It’s a public safety issue. We don’t want anybody to get hit by a brick. We don’t want anybody’s business damaged by a brick,” said Mayor Moore Wolfe, “The notice says 30 days. Now that doesn’t mean we’re going to show up with a wrecking ball in 30 days, but it really prompts people to act.”

They’re hoping the owner of the building will make those repairs, but the city isn’t sure who owns the building. “We’re going to have to figure out what we do if we either can’t find an owner or there doesn’t seem to be one,” said Mayor Moore Wolfe.

The theater has been closed for years, but people who live in the city are hoping to see it restored soon. “There have been so many heartfelt efforts to save it, but everything has been incredibly expensive,” said Mayor Moore Wolfe. “I’ve said for many years a vital Lincoln Theater would be one of the best things to happen to downtown Decatur,” said Johnson. However, if no one steps in to help, it’s possible a piece of Decatur’s history could come crumbling down.

The mayor says the community can also help. People can fundraise to get the money needed to make the building safe.

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