Vigo CIB gets Indiana Theatre update

Apr. 24—The Vigo County Capital Improvement Board on Wednesday heard an update on the complicated task of renovating the CIB-owned Indiana Theatre into a multipurpose facility.

The update came from representatives of architectural firm Studio Axis and venue consultant Theatre Projects.

Kevin Cooper, a partner at Studio Axis, said that the company is at the end of step two in a three-step process. The building has been scanned in 3D and the condition of both the interior and exterior have been analyzed.

Rob Young of Theatre Projects appeared virtually, and he said there are different architectural considerations for the theater depending on what is being presented — from a movie to a stage production (a musical would need an orchestra pit under the stage) to a performance by the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, which would require its own way of managing the acoustics.

Cooper distributed a report saying, "The theater lacks many of the amenities today's audiences have become accustomed to." Performer amenities can also be greatly improved, the report read.

Young differentiated "multipurpose vs. multi-useless" venues, the latter of which are asked to perform many functions but does none of them particularly well.

Studio Axis' report concluded, "With the right improvements, renovations and restoration, the Indiana Theatre can be a beautiful, vibrant, fully functional venue that once again serves the community and enriches lives."

Terre Haute Mayor Brandon Sakbun requested the final report, including costs for the complete makeover, be ready in June so that the city could apply for a grant request from the Eli Lilly Foundation in July.

Vigo County Commissioner and board member Chris Switzer shared images of what the new LED marquee will look like as designed by Green Sign of Greensburg.

The marquee will cost $150,000 and repairing the roof canopy around it will cost somewhere in the $50,000 to $75,000 range.

The old sign will be coming down within the next couple of weeks, Switzer said. It is to be given to the Vigo County History Center.

Larry Bird Museum

Jon Marvel and Terri Conley delivered an update on the Larry Bird Museum.

"It's inching closer to that finish line," Conley said, estimating its opening to be within the next 60 days. She added new window shades have been installed to protect the memorabilia on display from damage from sunlight.

A website for the museum is being created that will help reduce waiting times for those wanting to visit.

Convention Center numbers

Terre Haute Convention Center general manager Tennille Wanner reported that March saw 12 events serving 1,300 people at the venue. There are 60 definite contracts totaling $400,000 for events at the convention center through the rest of 2024, and $904,000 in revenues coming in current to all future business.

Karen Dyer was sworn in as the CIB's newest member. Representing the Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau, she replaces David Patterson. He recently retired as the CVB's executive director.

The CIB's next meeting will be May 22.

David Kronke can be reached at 812-231-4232 or at