75-year-old Carbondale movie theatre faces major renovation project

75-year-old Carbondale movie theatre faces major renovation project

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The Varsity Center for the Arts in Carbondale is in the third phase of a four-phase, “$3.5 million” renovation, according to theatre president Jack Longowski.

Longowski says the entire renovation will eventually feature modern motion picture and multimedia systems for at least one of the venue's three auditoriums, updated seating, and restoration of the original 1940's décor.

The current phase involves installation of a new LED marquee on the front of the building, and updated exterior lighting.

The 75-year-old venue currently only utilizes one of the three auditoriums due to the state of disrepair the other two have fallen into since the last time they were used around 2002.

“I think people remember coming here as a kid, and have a lot of memories.” said event Coordinator Melissa Cauthen, “To bring that back, and have people visit, I think will be great. We hope to bring that sense of community back, with the arts, and plays and concerts, and the art feel for downtown Carbondale.”

Longowski says most of the renovation cost relies on donations through regular fundraisers, and grant applications with the Tourism Bureau in Carbondale.

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