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Washington Theater plans next phase of renovation project

Washington Theater officials say that the next step in the renovation process for the Washington Theater in Quincy is developing an architectural plan.

This plan will give the commission a clear path as to the design and layout of the 95-year-old historic theater. A key component of the plan will be the cost associated with the project.

The cost of the architectural plan is estimated to be around $100,000. Estimates for renovation range from 5 to 8 million dollars. These figures were provided by Janis Barlow and associates who conducted a feasibility study in 2002.

Adam Duesterhaus chairman of the Washington Theater Commission says, “The architectural plan is a key component needed to begin our major fundraising efforts. Without this, we have no idea of the real costs and scope of the project. We have about $35,000. in the bank thanks to previous fundraising events. We would love to be able to commit to the plan one year from now.”

To reach the $100,000 the Friends of the Washington Theater will be holding two major fundraising events. On September 22nd it will be “A Night of Big Band Music”. The stage of the Washington Theater will come alive with the sounds of Bullis Rutter from Keokuk, Iowa. Those attending will be able to dance while listening to the sounds of this 16-piece band. Revelry of Quincy will be catering the event and will provide unique hor d’oeuvers. More information and tickets can be can be found at

On April 20th, 2019, the Washington Theater will present a second in a series. “Big Band USO-styles music Concert” honoring veterans and will be held at Quincy’s Morrison theater. This concert will not only feature Big Band selections but also dancing, singing and comedy, reminiscent of USO tour shows of the past.

Duesterhaus adds “Our hope is both shows will help us get to our $100,000 goal so we can complete our architectural plan and begin our major fundraising efforts. The time is right as Quincy explores aspects of the Strategic plan. “

The feasibility study in 2002 revealed the Washington Theater could be a viable business. The proposed 1,200 seat theater would not compete with other theaters and auditoriums in the area. The study indicates most of these facilities are in use by the organizations who run them, or they have restricted use.

The current plan calls for the Washington Theater to be restored as a professional caliber facility which would be able to accommodate a wide range of popular artists in addition to being available for local organizations.

To date, $738,000 has been spent on the historic theater. The money was used to stabilize the building, replace the roof and replace the entrance which included restoring the marquee. This money was received from state and federal grants. Quincy Preserves donated $25,000 which paid for the Feasibility study.


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