Milwaukee River – A Roaring Backdrop – The swollen river is running fast and furiously along the back façade of The Bend. Recent massive rainfalls within the entire Milwaukee River watershed have added volumes of water to the river, and it shows in our downtown. It has not over-flowed its banks, but it is close to the top of the east bank stone wall along the east bank. That the theatre has not suffered any water damage is good news. The board of Historic West Bend Theatre had hired contractors to dry out the building, which was vacant for 12 years, and to prevent future impairment, regardless of the weather conditions. The beautiful river is a major asset to the city and an elegant framework for our east façade. The west bank is scheduled for renovation in 2021, and our theatre will be a big part of that bank project.
Liquor License Approval – The West Bend Licensing Board unanimously approved a Class B license for the theatre, which will have a full service bar open for events. It will serve beer, wine, liquor and soft drinks. A soft opening is expected in February. Volunteer bar tenders will be sought.
Reconstruction Progress – The new roof is in place, so is external brickwork. Electric work is 85% complete; plumbing is 80% complete. Internal plastering is underway using extensive internal scaffolding. Restoration of discovered artwork will start in November.
Front Drop-off will be realigned – City Hall has approved funds to improve the drop-off area in front of the theatre. It will provide safety for comings and goings of patrons. It will also protect our marquee. The old curb line allowed damage from large delivery trucks navigating the curve at the northwest corner of the marquee. That liability will be no more.
2020 Operating Outlook – Jeff Potts, executive director, has made his first cut on an operating plan and budget for next year and is starting to build a schedule of events for 2020. We appreciate suggestions for movies and talented performers, as well as interest from businesses looking to partner with The Bend. Reach out on our FaceBook page or send an email to email@example.com. Potts said, “Our goal is to fill the theatre as many nights as possible. We will program to make it a lively, bustling place for the whole community.”
Historic West Bend Theatre, Inc.
P. O. Box 401
West Bend WI 53095