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New owner means new rules for Lafayette Theater

The city of Lafayette now owns the historic landmark, and it could change the acts you're used to seeing there.

Posted: May 8, 2019 11:13 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The city of Lafayette now owns one of its historic landmarks. It closed on the Lafayette Theater on April 23. 

The new owners are putting some rules in place, and it could change the acts you're used to seeing there.

"They should keep having everything," said Lafayette resident Tennyson Silkes. "I hope everything keeps running the same."

"Just as long as downtown has a nice, vibrant atmosphere," said Kevin Patrick. "That's all anybody can ask."

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said the current owner will run the 81-year-old landmark until Dec. 31.

"I want to do this right, not fast," said Roswarksi.

He said according to the lease agreement, any shows already booked will go on as planned, but the city will approve any additional performances booked.

That could change what people are normally used to seeing on the marquee.

"I've not hidden the fact that I'm not a fan of male revues and midget wrestling and things like that," Roswarski explained. "We're not going to have those types of activities in there."

It's a troubling thought for some who enjoy the diverse acts.

"I do think that it's censorship," Silkes said. "I do think they should have any group that wants to come in, and get people to notice them. I think they should let anybody in."

Roswarski said a board of downtown business owners, Purdue representatives and other community members will help decide who gets to go on stage.

"We want to have a lot of different local acts," Roswarksi explained. "We want to have a lot of variety to those acts. We want to make sure we're doing things that appeal across a broad base of people in Lafayette."

But some are still not sold on what the future holds for the theater.

"I think that's nice, but at the same time I think adults need to get out. Teenagers need to get out," Silkes said. "There needs to be a bunch of stuff like that, just for them."

"Midget wrestling aside, I just hope they can bring in acts for everyone that everyone enjoys," added Patrick.

Roswarski also said the city plans on a major renovation of the theater, but it's still too early to say when it that will begin.

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