The Uniqueness of the Coronado Theatre Preservation and Expansion Project
Rockford Area Arts Council commissioned van Dijk, Pace, Westlake/Architects of Cleveland to conduct a feasibility study on renovating, adapting, and maintaining the Coronado and/or Midway Theatres to meet the performing arts needs of the region. The study recommended renovating and expanding the Coronado Theatre to serve all future arts organizations and community entertainment needs for large-performance space in a single viable venue .
On November 21, 1997, the Kerasotes family generously donated the Coronado Theatre, listed on the National Register of Historic Preservation, to the Rockford community. Rockford Mayor Charles Box immediately announced the formation of “Friends of the Coronado”, chaired by community arts leaders Mary Ann and Gordy Smith. Friends of the Coronado launched $7 million capital campaign, led by co-chairs Robert H. Jenkins, Chairman and CEO of Sundstrand, and John J. McDonough, Vice Chair and CEO of Newell. The privately raised funds will be matched by $7 million from the city of Rockford. The theatre will be closed for an 18-month preservation and expansion period and is scheduled to reopen December, 2000.