Upgrades Coming to Historic Du Quoin Theatre

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By Matthew Searcy

DU QUOIN -- A landmark building in downtown Du Quoin is about to get an upgrade. 

The Grand Theatre will switch to a new digital projection system later this year. They're getting a loan from the city to buy the equipment.
 
"Making that move to digital is very expensive," said Du Quoin mayor Rex Duncan. "We are going to kick in $20,000 towards a total of $70,000 in equipment purchases." 
 
The city will provide a loan to install digital projection equipment on two of the three screens in the historic theater.
 
"We will take the money directly out of our revolving loan fund and get it to the Grand," explained Duncan. "They can turn the thing around as quickly as they need to get the transaction done."
     
The agreement comes with a long term payment plan. The nearly century old Grand Theatre is an anchor to the city's downtown businesses.   
     
"It brings a lot of people in who don't just take in a movie but who also dine and shop and experience downtown Du Quoin," said Duncan.  
 
Despite the loan, most of the funding used for the conversion will come from the theater owners, a positive sign about the businesses' long-term future.       
 
"We've been hearing off and on that the Grand was in trouble and it might close," explained Duncan. "What they are doing now really looks good for the long term future of that theatre." 
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