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Springfield Little Theatre is planning more crowdfunding campaigns as it works to restore and repair the Landers Theatre downtown.
Photo provided by Springfield Little Theatre
Springfield Little Theatre is planning more crowdfunding campaigns as it works to restore and repair the Landers Theatre downtown.

Springfield Little Theatre progresses toward $5M fundraising goal

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With the completion of a monthlong crowdfunding campaign, Springfield Little Theatre fell well short of its February goal but moved one step closer to its $5 million capital improvement fundraising target.

Through its Crowdrise campaign, 282 people contributed $30,171 toward the fundraiser that ended yesterday. The campaign on the crowdfunding website owned by GoFundMe had a goal of $250,000.

Springfield Little Theatre Marketing Director Megan Buchbinder said, “Obviously it would be great if we could raise $250,000 in a month,” but that “wasn’t exactly the intention.” She said the crowdfunding campaign was the first in a series that will continue for “as long as it takes to get to that goal.”

Buchbinder said Springfield Little Theatre now has raised more than $1 million of the $5 million goal. Officials previously pointed to a fall 2019 timeline.

“The $5 million is what we need,” she said. “Everything’s an immediate need when you’re trying to raise that much money.”

The funding is earmarked to conduct exterior and interior repairs for the 109-year-old Landers Theatre, located downtown at 311 E. Walnut St. The Springfield Little Theatre also wants to purchase the former McDaniel School for $1.5 million and renovate that property, Buchbinder said. The former school is currently owned by GDS Holdings LLC, according to Greene County assessor records.

Springfield Little Theatre began leasing the McDaniel School, which most recently housed Bryan College, for its summer camps in June 2018, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.

The Landers Theatre was purchased and restored in 1970 by Springfield Little Theatre. As part of the $5 million campaign, crews already have completed several projects, including a renovation of the building’s facade, construction of new front steps and the restoration of the water-damaged basement foundation.

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