Dec. 29 - Goshen Theater once again ready to shine | Latest |

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It was cloudy and sun in the evening, followed by a cloudy sky. 43F high. 10 to 20 miles per hour.

Gray. As low as 30F. Drive around the southwest wind at a speed of 5 to 10 mph.

You can see the newly restored Miller Auditorium in the Opera Theatre.

Gao Shen—The $5 million restoration project has been completed, and the 112-year-old Goshen Theater is ready to shine again.

Thanks to the generous support of hundreds of state and local donors, including the Galen Miller family, this nearly two-year restoration project was realized. The newly renovated Miller Auditorium of the building is now Has been named after it.

The theater's webpage said: "We are very happy to thank Galen Miller and Sue Neb of Miller Poultry Company for their support." "The newly named'Miller Auditorium' reflects the family's generous contribution to the project. Their support made it possible to complete the first stage of the auditorium, which is an unforgettable gift for residents and visitors of Goshen."

Dozens of growers in LaGrange County provide birds to Miller Poultry, one of the largest employers in the area, and Miller’s Orland processing plant.

The restoration work aims to bring aging facilities into the 21st century. In addition to the new roof, these updates include expanding the theater’s toilets, adding an elevator to the four-story building for the first time in history, refurbishing the theater’s third-floor banquet hall, and using new seats and floors. And the walls are restored with auditorium fabrics and stage curtains.

The managing director of the theater, Amanda Burgess, stated that the goal of the theater is to become a hub for Goshen's growing artistic community.

She said: "We will host movies, plays, concerts and movies." "This is a very flexible venue."

The auditorium has only 595 seats, and the audience can't walk far from the stage. Burgess described the theater as both grand and intimate.

"This is a nice medium-sized venue. It doesn't read that small," she said.

The theater has a long and colorful history in Goshen. The theater is located at 216 Main Street. It was built in 1905, destroyed by fire in 1906, and then rebuilt in 1907.

People classify it as a juggling theater, but it's more like a touring, legal theater space," Burgess said. "This has always been a flexible place to use. It has been used in films, speeches, plays, and combinations of touring performances, touring performances and local organizations. In the 1940s, it first became a movie theater and continued until the 1980s. "

After the theater closed, the building was turned into a church and fell into disrepair at the turn of the century. In 2014, Goshen Theatre, Inc. purchased the facility and began working to reverse the effects of time and negligence.

When the theater was built, the designers of the theater adopted a simple style.

It has Greek influence," she explained. "It is not overly decorated. If you go to places like the Oriental Theater in Chicago, where everything is wrapped in gems, grapes and gold, it is really bewildering. This is a simpler early style. This is a beautiful space and I am very happy to be a part of it. "

Everett Thomas, chairman of the board of directors of the Opera Opera, said that the support of the Miller family is vital to the success of the project. Thomas said his organization was initially worried that it would not be able to raise all the funds needed for the project, so the project was divided into two different phases.

"We got Miller's excellent contribution in the first stage. But then Galen contacted me and asked what we need to do to restore the auditorium," Thomas said. "Because of his interest, because of the family's interest and additional support, we can also run an auditorium."

The theater is currently planning its 2021 schedule.


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