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Riverside Theatre to open new location in Iowa City Pedestrian Mall

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - A new theatre is set to go up while major renovations are happening along the Pedestrian Mall in downtown Iowa City.

Directors with the Riverside Theatre believe this will round out the demand for performances by offering more opportunities for live theatre.

“This is a campaign that will not only build a new home of Riverside Theatre, but also provide that organizational and artistic support that’s going to make us thrive over the next decade,” Adam Knight, Riverside Theatre’s producing artistic director, said.

The $1.8 million campaign will pay for a brand new theatre in the Pedestrian Mall in downtown Iowa City.

“Construction has been really fast. Construction started in December of last year and we are going to open our first show on February 4th, 2022,” Knight said.

Knight said there are several reasons why this capital campaign needed to happen now.

“Our first capital campaign was to build the festival stage in Lower City Park. This campaign is to build our new stage. That campaign created a home for live Shakespeare in the park, we served thousands of patrons per year there,” Knight said. “This will be a space for new work and modern takes on classic work.”

Knight says Tailwind Development Group, a Minnesota-based development group, is spending $900,000. Tailwind has a stake in this as it’s also a major player in the redevelopment of the Ped Mall.

“Essentially they’re covering almost 50% of the overall capital cost that we’ll need to make this place a reality,” Knight said. ”We’re down the street from the Englert and Film Scene, and the Voxman, and the Stanley, and all these things are coming together. There wasn’t a place yet for theatre. We see this as the last piece in this great small city for the arts.”

The other big part of the funding is coming from donors who have an appreciation for arts and culture in the downtown Iowa City area, according to Knight.

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