Du Quoin city leaders considering renovating Grand Theater - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Du Quoin city leaders considering renovating Grand Theater

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DU QUOIN -- Du Quoin city leaders want to to renovate one of the town's most iconic buildings, to its former marquee value.

The abandoned Grand Theater brings back fond memories for many people, one reason the city is looking to bring it back to life.

Du Quoin's Grand Theater has been a staple in the community for more than 100 years. It closed in 2016, but the city has new plans to bring the old building back to life.

Sitting on the corner of Main and Washington Street, the Grand Theater in Du Quoin has people in town remembering the good old days.

"I saw my first Elvis Presley movie there, I think it was Jailhouse Rock," said Du Quoin resident Judy Smid.

But the Grand Theater has sat vacant for the last two years, right next to Smid's craft shop.

"A lot of sentimental value for a lot of people," added Smid.

It's why the city of Du Quoin is spending about 30 thousand Tax Increment Financing dollars to study what can be done with the old theater.

"Because it's the Grand Theater and it sits on a historic Main Street in southern Illinois it's kind of close to everybody's heart," said Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi.

It's why Mayor Alongi says deciding what to do with the theater will be done carefully.

"It's a roll of the dice and we are going to walk through this thing slowly because it can be a white elephant for us," added Alongi.

But for those in the community seeing the lights of the Grand theater shine again would be a sight for sore eyes.

"It's something most towns don't have anymore."

Mayor Alongi says he hopes to have the study done by January to figure out the new plan for this old theater.

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