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Our Town Cedar Falls - The Oster Regent Theater

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CEDAR FALLS - This century-old landmark in downtown Cedar Falls is still entertaining audiences. The Oster Regent Theater is a venue for plays and musical performances. And today we'll learn why community theater lured one famous Cedar Falls native back to his hometown.

Tom Pardoe is back in town. He's a Cedar Falls native who is well-known beyond the community.

"We are very proud of someone who comes from our area and goes out and makes a name for themselves," said John Luzaich, Oster Regent General Manager.

Pardoe is a professional theater director and choreographer in Los Angeles. And he's performed on Broadway. Now, the Cedar Falls Community Theater is bringing him back to direct 'Pippin,' as the kick-off for the theater's 30th Anniversary season.

"Being back has been awesome, to give back to the community, bring what I've discovered on my journey to put it back into the community. Hopefully everyone gains something from that," said Tom Pardoe, Cedar Falls Native/Pippin Director.

'Pippin' is just one of many performances on the stage at the Oster Regent Theater. The theater was built in 1910 and was called the Cotton Theater. It was gifted to the Cedar Falls Community Theater Group in 1991. The group raised $1.2 million to restore the historic theater to what it is today.

By 1994, the theater was restored to its original splendor and was re-opened with the name Oster Regent. The interior was gutted, the seats were replaced, and the proscenium arch was re-created. Even the color scheme is the same as it was in the early 1900s.

The Cedar Falls Community Theater Group performs five plays a year and the theater hosts numerous other events. The group has a budget of $300,000, all donations. And it takes about 500 volunteers to keep the theater running. But it's an effort that citizens in Our Town Cedar Falls appreciate.

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