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Scaffolding this morning covers the front of Landers Theatre as crews tuck-point the building on Walnut Street in downtown Springfield.
Scaffolding this morning covers the front of Landers Theatre as crews tuck-point the building on Walnut Street in downtown Springfield.

Springfield Little Theatre kicks off largest capital campaign

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The Springfield Little Theatre is rolling out a $5 million capital campaign – the largest in its history – to fund building renovations, educational offerings and bolster its endowment.

Half of the campaign’s goal is dedicated to interior and exterior repairs of the downtown Landers Theatre, which turns 109 years old in September, according to a news release. Additionally, $1.5 million would go toward the purchase and renovation of the McDaniel School for use in educational camps and programs, and the remaining $1 million would support the theater’s endowment.

“This campaign and the generous donations from individuals and organizations in our area are going to help us take care of the iconic Landers Theatre for another 100 years,” said Beth Domann, executive director of the Springfield Little Theatre, in the release.

Organizers have set a fall 2019 date to reach the fundraising goal, and they’ve already raised $500,000, according to the release. The campaign, dubbed “Next Stage,” will officially kickoff with an 11 a.m. ribbon cutting Aug. 8 with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce at the theater, 311 E. Walnut St.

In June, Springfield Little Theatre began leasing the McDaniel School, which most recently housed Bryan College, for its summer camps, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Through the capital campaign, Springfield Little Theatre plans to purchase the building, said spokeswoman Megan Buchbinder.

At the Landers Theatre, renovations are underway. Scaffolding covers the front of the theater as crews tuck-point the building.

Built by John and D.J. Landers and R.W. Seward for $100,000, Landers Theatre opened with “The Golden Girl” in September 1909, according to the release. In 1970, Springfield Little Theatre purchased and restored the building.

“The Springfield Little Theatre and the Landers Theatre have always been a part of downtown Springfield and a key player for the arts community in the Ozarks,” said Jeff Hammock, president of the Springfield Little Theatre Board of Directors, in the release. “Behind Beth Domann and her team, and with a strong board in place, we are taking these steps to make sure it will be around for future generations to enjoy.”

Ticket sales for the theater’s 84th season went on sale today. The season kicks off with the musical, “Newsies,” on Sept. 14 and concludes with “Footloose” on June 7, 2019.


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