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Future of Peoria's Madison theater shaky

Fri, 25 May 2012 06:45:48 CDT
By: Jim Browne

The owner of Peoria's downtown Madison Theater says it should be torn down. JD Comfort's family trust owns not only the Madison but much of the 500 block of Main Street. Comfort refers to the building as a 'tear down.' He says the 125 year old building has served it's purpose, and it's time to replace it with something else that'll last the next 125 years. The theater is on the National Register of Historic Places, but Comfort says it would cost a prohibitive $18 Million to rehab the prohibition era building. The Madison is across the street from Peoria's Hotel Pere' Marquette, which is at the center of downtown development efforts. Mayor Jim Ardis says he envisions a gentrification in the area as the hotel project generates more interest in downtown.

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