Fundraising efforts underway for Broadway Theatre revitalization project

Unstable walls keep section of Broadway closed in Cape Girardeau after fire at old theater

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A fire on Wednesday night in the 800 block of Broadway left devastating damage to the Broadway Theatre building.

The 100-year-old historic structure was in the beginning stages of a revitalization project.

A group was in the process of revitalizing the Broadway Theatre before it was damaged by a fire on Wednesday, March 31.
A group was in the process of revitalizing the Broadway Theatre before it was damaged by a fire on Wednesday, March 31. (Source: Jeremy)

One entrepreneur was getting ready to open a coffee shop next door, along with a fundraising effort to reopen the theatre.

However, now that the fire damaged the upper level, and the structure may be deemed unsafe, she faces a major setback.

“Yeah, it has been a big setback, you know, it’s been a setback for the community too,” said Suzanne Hightower, president of Cape Broadway Theatre, a nonprofit revitalization group that had plans to reopen the theatre.

“Okay, well, we’ve been working for this for about six months,” she said. “And so we’re going to make it a 5 to 700 seat that has more of a mixed use. So, we can put theater seats in there or we can put tables and chairs.”

She said the theatre will be used as event space, to show films, plays, special events or even live music.

“So we are open to wanting to get this theatre back to the community, and have it being used every day,” she said.

Hightower also said the project was slated to cost around $6 million, which may cost more due to the fire.

“That area that the fire was, was in very bad shape anyway. Had a tree growing through it, the roof was already gone in that area. I know the fire probably burned several other areas, but I heard it did not affect the inside of the theatre that much. Which is really good,” she said.

Anyone who wants to help get the theatre back into operating shape can contact Old Town Cape for more information, or can donate to the Cape Broadway Theatre online.

Reopening the Broadway Theatre is still expected to be a five-year project.

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