“The public was overwhelmed with sadness when it learned Merrillville’s landmark Star Plaza Theatre would be demolished … so the adjoining Radisson hotel could be replaced with something more modern,” writes Joseph S. Pete in Saturday’s (11/5) Northwest Indiana Times (Munster, IN). “People were just as ecstatic to find out [it would be spared] from the wrecking ball…. The 75-year-old Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra [had] been frantically searching for a new venue for its pops concerts. The symphony packs the 3,400-seat venue—the biggest by far in Northwest Indiana—for its pops shows, which subsidize its classical programming. The symphony would not only sell fewer tickets in a smaller space, but might see attendance dwindle if it were forced to stage pops concerts in churches. ‘It’s the absolutely best news we could have received,’ Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra Executive Director John Cain said…. The symphony’s musicians would much rather play in a real theater instead of a high school or church auditorium because it’s a more professional situation, Cain said. And the closing would have hurt other arts institutions like the Indiana Ballet Theatre, which stages its production of ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Star Plaza every year.”

Posted November 7, 2016