ROCKFORD (WREX) – A historic theater in Rockford will have a chance to return.
The Times Theater on N. Main St. in downtown Rockford has been vacant for more than two decades. Today, Joseph James Partners announced that it is applying for a $3 million state grant to renovate the historic theater.
Peter Provenzano, the chairman of Joseph James Partners, made the announcement outside the Times Theater along with many community leaders. He says the work will need a lot of public support.
“We appreciate the strong support we are receiving from local authorities and organizations for our grant proposal to help defray the costs of redevelopment of the Times Theatre,” Provenzano said. “We now invite the wider community to join us in supporting our plans to restore this gem of our community and renovate it into an exciting new entertainment venue for the Rockford-Winnebago County area.”
Joseph James Partners expects to submit its state grant proposal in early January. The company says it will need to be approved by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity as part of the statewide Downtown and Main Street Reconstruction Program.
Local leaders say the return of the Times Theater can have a big impact on the Rockford area.
“Bringing the Times Theater back to life will not only revitalize downtown, but will also improve our theater district for the Rockford community,” said State Representative Maurice West. “The arts play a huge role in developing and exposing young and old. I look forward to the impact The Times will add to reach our young people, especially those in the 67th District.”
The total cost of the renovation is currently estimated at $15 million. Community members can donate to the project on their website.