Urbana’s Gloria Theatre closed for new restrooms, other renovations

The Gloria Theatre in Urbana will be closed for a few weeks due to renovations. Contributed
The Gloria Theatre in Urbana will be closed for a few weeks due to renovations. Contributed

Improvements include Café, kitchen, vestibule, remodeled concessions and expansion of stage.

The Gloria Theatre in Urbana will be temporarily closed for several new improvements.

The theater will reopen in four to five weeks after the completion of new handicapped accessible restrooms and other renovations, according to GrandWorks CEO Staci Weller. The other improvements include Clifford’s Railcar Café, a commercial kitchen, a new entrance vestibule, a remodeled concession area and an expansion of the stage.

“The heartwarming generosity of our hundreds of donors and volunteers, and local organizations like the Champaign County Memorial Foundation and the Grimes Foundation, have made these wonderful improvements possible,” Weller said.

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Weller said they are “especially excited to announce” that the Café is coming soon because it’s a tribute to Billy Single Clifford, who built the theater in 1904, and will reflect his railcar and turn of the century era.

“The new restrooms, concessions and vestibule will show the Gloria’s commitment to providing excellent comfort and enjoyment for all its patrons. The expanded stage is the first step in the theater’s ultimate goal of becoming a state-of-the art performing arts center in addition to the existing big screen movie theater,” according to Weller.

The nonprofit GrandWorks Foundation, which has operated the 107-year-old building located at 216 S. Main St. since 2014, has continued to show new and classic films and renovations have been ongoing even after being shutdown in 2020.

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“I remember almost eight years ago when we first purchased the Gloria how many people thought we could never make it work. Here we are, almost eight years later, after weathering several challenges, and with the outpouring of support and prayers from across the community, Gloria has made her way all the way back and now has an even brighter future. This grand ole’ gal is doing her part to achieve our mission to reach, restore and revive the community,” said GrandWorks board member Jill Lillibridge.

For more information about the Gloria, visit its website or social media pages.

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