Orpheum Theatre's Grant Bid Falls Short

Galesburg, IL – It might take Galesburg's Orpheum Theatre more time to make sorely needed renovations.

The Orpheum's president and managing director Kate Francis says the theatre applied for a $500,000 "Save America's Treasures" Grant, made available through the National Parks Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

She found out the theatre was not receiving money through the grant program's website, which she checked periodically.

She says not winning the grant money is definitely a setback, but the Orpheum will still go through with the renovations -- it will just take a bit longer than planned.

"This particular campaign is about necessity," says Francis. "Fixing a boiler, fixing an air conditioner and repairing a stage... it's not the type of campaign that necessarily gets a lot of individual support for it. That is going to have to happen at some point."

Francis says after the original condemnation of the boiler, four companies submitted bids to replace it. She says they ranged from $62,000 to $162,000.

A number of local businesses had pledged money to the Orpheum in anticipation of receiving the grant, and needing $500,000 in matching funds. Francis says in addition to seeking individual donations, the theatre will seek continued support from those businesses.