MADISON (WKOW) -- After being closed for months, new management is promising a revived Orpheum Theatre. That's big news for the State Street staple and surrounding businesses.
Curtis Diller opened Kilwins, a chocolate and ice cream shop on the 200-block of State St. in July and says the crowds have been good so far. "We're finding we have a good mix of people that come in, families and college students and everything," he says.
The mix of tourists, state workers are students are important for Anthology co-owner Laura Komai. "We would pretty much not be anywhere else," Komai says about the location for the paper and craft shop she runs with her sister. "Certainly being right next door to them, we notice a difference between lights off and having customers or restaurant people and movie goers in and out," Komai says about Orpheum Theatre's recently closed state.
But things are about to change. Since going into foreclosure, a Madison-based production company has announced they will reopen and manage the historic theater. "The lights are going to be back on, we're going to have live entertainment again, we're hoping to do four quality live shows a month and bring people to downtown Madison again," said Frank Productions President Fred Frank. Frank says they've applied for a new liquor license and will find out in late November if it's been approved. They hope to bring in shows by late December.
"Being a new business, it will mean a lot to us to have those extra activities happening downtown to bring in the business, especially through the winter time and such when things tend to slow down," Diller says.
Komai has a similar sentiment. "I think it's just about general exposure for downtown Madison and for State Street and the more people that you have coming through, the better," she says.
Fred Frank says he hopes to present the winning bid when Orpheum Theatre goes up for auction. He plans on renovating the marquee and the inside and breathe new life into the historic venue.
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