Renovations continue at Gloria


Improvements in overdrive during pandemic closure

Submitted story



Work continues on the fascia of the outside front of the Gloria Theatre.

Work continues on the fascia of the outside front of the Gloria Theatre.


Submitted photos

Volunteers work to prime the Gloria Theatre cafe.


Submitted photos

Construction continues on a new office, which will replace the current office, which will become part of the theatre’s new ADA-compliant restrooms.


Submitted photos

Volunteers work on priming the ceiling in the theatre foyer, showing the art deco features that Warren Grimes added.


Submitted photos

The old ticket booth has been removed from the lobby, opening up the space. A ticket window will replace the booth.


Submitted photos

A ticket window to a booth will replace the old ticket booth in the lobby.


Submitted photos

Though the Gloria Theatre screen has been dark and the seats empty since the last March 15 showing of the movie “I Still Believe,” the Urbana theater, owned and operated by the GrandWorks Foundation, has been anything but quiet.

During the lull in movies and other events, contractors and volunteers have been busy making extensive progress on renovations and restoration of the historic facility, says Staci Weller, Chief Executive Officer of the GrandWorks Foundation.

This includes:

· Installing a new ticket booth on the south side of the entryway and removing the old ticket booth, opening up space at the center of the main lobby

· Restoring the main lobby’s art deco ceiling, which Warren Grimes added when he purchased the theater in the 1940s. For many years a drop ceiling has hidden this distinctive feature.

· Refinishing the walls of the lobby with new dry wall

· Framing and drywalling the theater’s café, which, when completed, will be accessible from the lobby

· Installing a new HVAC system for the main and secondary theater lobbies

· Building a new office on the south side of the secondary lobby, just outside the theater auditorium. This will replace the current office which will be removed to make room for new expanded restrooms that will be Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.

· Adding new insulation above the foyer and café

· Completing roof and other repairs

“When we’re able to reopen, I know that theatergoers will be amazed by the changes since they were last here,” Weller said. “Thanks to our contractors and loyal volunteers we have made tremendous progress.”

She added, “There’s still much to be done, and as a nonprofit organization, the GrandWorks Foundation continues to rely on the gifts and financial support of community members, organizations and businesses.”

Two fundraising opportunities are currently in progress, Weller said:

-A fundraising campaign on the Gloria Theatre by GrandWorks Facebook page

-The Sponsor A Seat campaign, at gloriatheatre.org, in which supporters can sponsor a theater seat, or multiple seats. Donors names will be inscribed on a display in the theater lobby.

The Gloria Theatre is one of three projects managed by the GrandWorks Foundation. The nonprofit foundation, with the mission to reach, restore and revive the community, also produces an uplifting, thought-provoking podcast, “The Big Questions,” and is developing plans for the Urbana Youth Center.

Work continues on the fascia of the outside front of the Gloria Theatre.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2020/06/web1_gloria1.jpgWork continues on the fascia of the outside front of the Gloria Theatre. Submitted photos

Volunteers work to prime the Gloria Theatre cafe.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2020/06/web1_gloria2.jpgVolunteers work to prime the Gloria Theatre cafe. Submitted photos

Construction continues on a new office, which will replace the current office, which will become part of the theatre’s new ADA-compliant restrooms.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2020/06/web1_gloria3.jpgConstruction continues on a new office, which will replace the current office, which will become part of the theatre’s new ADA-compliant restrooms. Submitted photos

Volunteers work on priming the ceiling in the theatre foyer, showing the art deco features that Warren Grimes added.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2020/06/web1_gloria4.jpgVolunteers work on priming the ceiling in the theatre foyer, showing the art deco features that Warren Grimes added. Submitted photos

The old ticket booth has been removed from the lobby, opening up the space. A ticket window will replace the booth.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2020/06/web1_lobby-no-ticket-booth.jpgThe old ticket booth has been removed from the lobby, opening up the space. A ticket window will replace the booth. Submitted photos

A ticket window to a booth will replace the old ticket booth in the lobby.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2020/06/web1_Ticket-booth-windows.jpgA ticket window to a booth will replace the old ticket booth in the lobby. Submitted photos
Improvements in overdrive during pandemic closure

Submitted story

Information from GrandWorks Foundation.

Information from GrandWorks Foundation.