Historic Miner's Institute
204 W. Main
Collinsville, IL 62234
Collinsville Progress Joins Efforts to Restore Miner’s Theatre
October 1, 2014
Collinsville Progress is the community development arm of the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of Collinsville Progress is to make the community more appealing to potential businesses and residents by sponsoring projects for the improvement and enjoyment of its citizens. This year, Collinsville Progress has joined in the efforts to restore and reopen the Miner’s Theatre by awarding the Miner’s Institute Foundation (MIF) a $6,000 grant.
The theatre requires significant renovation to make it ADA accessible and compliant with current building codes before it can be reopened to the public. “The Miner’s Institute Foundation is so grateful to Collinsville Progress for this contribution”, said MIF Fundraising Chairman Eric O’Donnell, “We are excited to put this contribution to action.”
The donation from Collinsville Progress will allow for the purchase of the materials needed for the Collinsville Area Vocational Center (CAVC), a public vocational training center for high school graduates, to perform necessary improvements, moving the theatre toward ADA accessibility. Some of these improvements include: raising the stage, making it flush with the dressing rooms and restrooms in the wings for performers in wheelchairs; resurfacing the stage; providing a ramp from the auditorium floor to the stage for performers in wheelchairs; and other carpentry-related work.
“In keeping with our mission statement, we strongly support the Miner’s Institute Foundation in its efforts to bring the theatre back to life. We feel this will help revitalize the Uptown and return a much-needed cultural and arts venue to our community. This will benefit our residents, business owners, and visitors,” said Collinsville Progress Secretary Sandy Darling, “Collinsville is fortunate to have the Miner’s Theatre as an anchor in its Uptown.”
The Miner’s Theatre opened in 1918. The construction of the building was paid for by the local miner’s unions. The theatre brought entertainment to the city of a class not usually seen in cities of this size. The need to preserve this remarkable structure of such historic and cultural importance is evidenced by its position on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, named a Collinsville Progress Historic Landmark in 1993, and a City of Collinsville Historic Landmark in 2013.
Work that remains to reopen the theatre includes building ADA compliant restrooms, adding an automatic door opener, plaster repair, insulation, HVAC repair, adding a fire alarm system with voice evacuation, electrical upgrades, and code compliant exit and egress lighting. The Miner’s Institute Foundation is currently seeking monetary contributions and organized labor unions wishing to join in the project by donating their labor.
Those interested in the restoration efforts or who would like to contribute may contact 618-972-4236 or MinersInstitute@gmail.com.