Lafayette Theater owner gets one final night before city takes over

Beginning Wednesday, the city will take control of the building.

Posted: Dec 31, 2019 3:11 PM
Updated: Dec 31, 2019 11:43 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Lafayette Theater has one final night under its current owner. Beginning Wednesday, the city will take control of the 82-year-old building.

"I'm going to miss the place," said Nick Perez. "I had a lot of fun here."

Perez Productions will have one more night of fun on New Year's Eve. The company has held the lease on the Lafayette Theater for about five years. On April 23, the city bought the venue for $290,000. The property appraised in the $500,000 to $600,000 range.

Perez wants the best for the theater, but is concerned about what could become a lack of nightlife options in Lafayette.

"I think it's frivolous that you have two non-profit venues within a minute of each other," said Perez.

The city will now own the Lafayette Theater and the Long Center. John Hughey will oversee both.

"We are going to do lots of cleaning," said Hughey when the city takes over the space. "There is going to be some fresh paint, and then long-term throughout 2020, we will take assessment and see what construction work needs to take place."

Perez has one week to move out, then the city will start planning for its first show.

"My personal opinion, which is shared by many, is if it is not broke, don't fix it," Perez said.

"The private ownership has done an admirable job of activating the space," Hughey said of Perez Productions. "Everybody wants a thriving downtown, and having two theaters that are lit up inviting people to come out that is just really progress and that's visionary, really."

Perez has a final message for his supporters.

"I just want to say thank you for your support and Happy New Year."

For its final night under Perez Productions, the theater is hosting Lloyd Avenue. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20 ahead of time or $25 at the door. 

The city's first performance is set for Jan. 26. It will be called "Big Bubble Bonanza" and will be a combination of a magic show and science experiment.

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