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Uptown Theater Needs Repair Money

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Now that Chicago-based Jam Productions has won the bid for the Uptown Theater, the search for renovation funding begins.

It’ll take about $35 million to make building renovations. That’s on top of the $3 million Jam Productions is already paying to buy the theater. The company is looking to get help from the city and state to meet those costs.

Jam founder Jerry Mickelson hopes to get the building back in shape for big concerts it was once known for.

MICKELSON: Obviously, you’ve got to be able to have the lights working and you’ve got to be able to have all the mechanics working. Yeah, we’ll return all of those to what it needs to be. The stage will be redone so it can handle what it needs to produce on that stage.

Before Jam can get started on repairs, the company needs to acquire the proper permits and must deposit $5 million in an escrow account. It also needs to submit a compliance and rehabilitation plan for city approval. Mickelson says it could be more than five years before the theater opens.

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