Funding Approved For American Blues Theater In West Ridge

Rendering of American Blues Theater by Morris Architects Planners

Funding has been announced for the new home of The American Blues Theater at 5627 N Lincoln Avenue in West Ridge. Located just north of the intersection with W Bryn Mawr Avenue and near Rosehill Cemetery, the theater will be redeveloping a one-story commercial building built in 1985 that previously housed a Dollar General. Morris Architects Planners are leading the structure’s re-design with Schuler Shook supplying the theater systems.

Site context map of American Blues Theater via Google Maps

The American Blues Theater was founded in 1985 and is the city’s second oldest Actors’ Equity Association theater, exploring the American identity through its plays. Although it has never had a permanent home, its actors have received countless recognition from the Pullitzer, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Academy awards. Now the brick-clad structure will receive a new white paint job and open to the public once again with its adjoining 16-vehicle parking lot.

Rendering of American Blues Theater main stage by Morris Architects Planners

Inside of the 18,000-square-foot building will be a 148-seat main theater along with a smaller 40-seat rehearsal performing space. Outfitted with all new finishes, the wood panel-lined black box interiors will allow the company to put on bigger and more ambitious shows. This will be supported by a lobby boasting a box office, bar, concessions in the front, and dressing rooms, greenroom, offices, and production rooms for costumes, sets, and more according to the theater’s website.

Rendering of American Blues Theater main stage by Morris Architects Planners

Setting off on a fundraising campaign to collect roughly $7.8 million for the necessary work including a $500,000 reserve fund for the employees and actors, the city has now approved $2.5 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) money for the work. Prior to this, the group had already gathered more than $4 million towards its goal. Having now almost hit their goal the theater has announced a groundbreaking in March with an anticipated opening in October.

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1 Comment on "Funding Approved For American Blues Theater In West Ridge"

  1. Strange location

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