City of Cape Girardeau exploring new proposal for old Broadway Theater

City of Cape looking into way to save the old Broadway Theater.
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 10:23 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau city leaders approved looking into a way to save the old Broadway Theater building on March 6.

The council made a decision in a 4 to 3 vote to explore a new proposal involving a local developer.

This proposal comes from Old Town Cape, a member of SEMO’s historic preservation program and a local contractor.

They said the cost to stabilize the front of the theater will cost around $125,000 to $150,000, that’s for a roof, new windows, doors and more.

Together, the three said stabilization is a more affordable option than tearing the building down. They believe this is a way to keep a historic building and create new storefronts and apartments.

The theater building was badly damaged in a fire in March 2021.

City leaders in support of keeping the theater said this is progress, but others shared concerns about paying for the work.

“We have an outstanding, viable alternative to demolition, and we are also aware that our ordinance allows for the ability to choose to repair or demolish,” said Liz Haynes, executive director of Old Town Cape.

“With the rising rate of the environment, where we’ve got prime at 7.75 and construction costs going up, I’m very concerned about being able to make financial sense to anybody,” City Council Member Robbie Guard added.

Another City Council Member, Tameka Randle, believed in the effort.

“I’m just going to say, I’m in favor of Old Town Cape because they are doers, they are go-getters, they are energizers and they are ambassadors and lead by example,” Randle said.

All sides said they agree that the old Broadway Theater is a safety hazard.

The city is looking at two bids to demolish the building. Those bids will expire in 60 days.

It’s still unclear if the city will approve the stabilization plan or continue with demolition.

The Broadway Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places in June 2015. It was built between 1920-21.