As reopening nears, Des Plaines Theatre gets key city council approval

As the team operating the newly remodeled Des Plaines Theatre gets ready for its grand reopening, the operation cleared an important bureaucratic hurdle this week.

The city council on Monday tentatively approved a liquor license for the theater, which is at 1476 Miner St., and is a key aesthetic component of the downtown area.

The license was on the council's consent agenda and was approved without any public discussion or debate. A final vote on the license is expected Nov. 1.

The first live show at the remodeled theater is scheduled for the day before. Kevin Costner & Modern West are set to perform Oct. 31.

A special events permit with a temporary liquor license is expected to be granted for that first concert, a city spokeswoman said.

Shows starring Paul Anka, Amy Grant, Blue Oyster Cult and others are set to follow.

The theater opened in 1925 as a venue for live performances. It transitioned to showing movies in 1935 and continued in that role until it shuttered in 2014.

The city bought the building in 2018 for nearly $1.3 million, with officials counting on a revitalized theater to help create a thriving entertainment and restaurant district downtown.

The renovation cost about $6 million. Des Plaines' Rivers Casino contributed $2.2 million to assist the city with the purchase and renovation, but doesn't have an ownership stake in the facility.

The theater originally was expected to open last year, but that was called off because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors. The theater missed a projected summertime opening, too.

The city council struck a five-year deal with entertainment entrepreneur Ron Onesti to lease and run the theater in 2019. Onesti also operates the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles and other suburban entertainment and dining venues.

Renovated Des Plaines Theatre expected to reopen this summer

Kevin Costner to perform at Des Plaines Theatre's reopening

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