- Associated Press - Sunday, February 19, 2017

NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) - The historic Grand Theatre in downtown Norfolk is up for sale, bringing disappointment to many who tried to restore the landmark for the past 12 years.

The former theater building was built in 1920, and had then-luxury amenities like air conditioning. It became the Rialto in 1940, then the smaller divided Cinema theaters in the 1970s before it eventually closed. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

Businessman J. Paul McIntosh donated the property in 2005 to the Norfolk Community Theater, which tried to obtain money to renovate the structure. The group was able to restore the front of the building and some roof repairs, but was unable to raise the $6 million to $8 million needed for improvements to the interior.

“It’s very disappointing,” theater board President Brad Krivohlavek told the Norfolk Daily News (https://bit.ly/2kRyy6U). “We’ve had various people helping us out … but the project just isn’t doable. We had to come up with plan B.”

The community theater has been based for many years at Northeast Community College, but the board’s vision was that the Grand Theatre would become the group’s permanent home. The hope was that the building could be used to stage the community theater’s productions and host recitals, business meetings and even church services that needed a facility that could seat around 300 people.

The community theater will operate at the college until it can make other arrangements.

“We’re looking at all options … but we don’t have a plan,” Krivohlavek said. “We want to have a facility, but we need to see what happens with the building.”

The property is listed for $200,000.

“I feel bad because I’m the board president, and I couldn’t get this accomplished,” Krivohlavek said.


Information from: Norfolk Daily News, https://www.norfolkdailynews.com

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