Fischer Revival Closer to Completion

Fischer Revival Closer to Completion

The renovation of Danville’s historic Fischer Theater is advancing.  And the man directing the project, Paul Offutt, owner of Offutt Development Company, says it will be done in time for an opening night concert by The Lettermen on September 21st.

Offutt says the project began as an effort to fix the roof – but became a full-blown restoration with the backing of the late Julius W. Hegeler II….

[**Note: You can click on the photos to enlarge them.]
{‘’Everything in the theater is totally new, from sprinkler system to electric, to plumbing, air conditioning, insulation, walls, roof, all the interior finishes.  We have seats coming, actually, next week for the third floor – so we’re moving along.  And it’s all in memory of Julius Hegeler.  Without Julius this thing never could have happened. He was the light at the end of my tunnel,’’ said Offutt.}

Offutt says Hegeler originally decided to pay for the outside work necessary on the building.  Then one brisk day Hegeler was sitting near the stage…

{‘’And he said, ‘Well when are we going to be able let people in here?’ And I told him we can’t let anybody in here – the plaster’s falling off the ceiling.  So he said, ‘Well what’s it going to take to do that?’  So I told him give me a couple of days.  And I threw an approximate number at him that weekend, and he said ‘Well, I guess we better get started,’’ said Offutt.  ‘’He was here a minimum of three times a week since November.  It didn’t matter cold, snow – whatever.  Saturdays he spent a lot of time…actually until the week before his death.’’

Offutt says replicating items that needed to be replaced was not easy…

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{‘’It’s been a challenge.  We ended up having moldings replicated for the theatre in Texas.  It was suppose to be four weeks and it took about ten weeks.  So that held us up.  But we’re pretty much past that and within a couple of weeks we’ll  be 90-percent painted and starting on carpet,’’ said Offutt during an interview with Vermilioncountyfirst.com News.

So how does Offutt feel about working on such a historical theater?

{‘’It’s been a challenge.  We’ve done about every restaurant imaginable, energy plants, bio-diesel plants, houses.  And so who would ever think that we would end up doing a total restoration of a theater?  It’s been a good time, actually,’’ added Offutt. ‘’And the biggest thing is what it will keep on giving to Danville.’’

Tickets for the September 21st concert by The Lettermen are now on sale.  Offutt says The Lettermen are thrilled to be the opening act.