|a sketch of the theater|
But it just got a very, very nice gift from the State of Illinois: the possibility of Ten Million Dollars to go towards the theater's renovation.
It all depends on how the State Senate votes. The current session ends on May 31st, so we'll know very soon whether it will happen.
It's not the $70 million that's been projected for a complete overhaul of the theater, but it would be a real nice down payment and a kickstarter for the project if it passes.
From the Tribune:
The Illinois House approved ... a $10 million pork-barrel grant for the Uptown Theatre on Wednesday as lawmakers churned through more budget bills in their push to beat a midnight Saturday adjournment deadline.
State lawmakers began stepping on the pedal as they advanced measures on issues... The infusion of cash for Chicago teachers and the Uptown money are part of the deal making that went into putting together a budget that can pass the Democratic-led House and Senate.
The Sun-Times is a little more succinct:[...]
As for the Uptown Theatre money, Chicago Democratic Sen. Heather Steans, a budget point person, said it was a request made in negotiations by Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago. Steans, whose district includes the shuttered theater, said the well-known event site needs the money for upgrading so it can reopen as part of a broader plan to spur development in the neighborhood.
“It is dilapidated building, but it is one that has a lot of historical significance,” Steans said. “It’s one of the landmarks there in the music community. It’s a hugely needed project.”
Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon confirmed the Senate president reassigned $10 million from a prior year’s appropriation that had gone unused and put it toward the Uptown site because “he really believes the theater can be a centerpiece” in the attempts to attract business and tourism to the neighborhood.
The Illinois House has approved legislation that ... includes spending to help in the renovation of the Uptown Theater....
The legislation is part of a $31 billion capital construction program that lawmakers approved in 2009. The package was largely paid for through legalizing video poker, raising taxes on candy, liquor and beauty products and by privatizing the Illinois lottery.
The legislation was approved Wednesday. It next heads to the Illinois Senate.
It contains a $10 million renovation of Chicago's Uptown Theatre.