Village president: Lease renewal adds to good news happening at theater

CALUMET — Renewal of a lease of the Calumet Theatre approved Monday by the Village Council clears the way for the installation of an elevator for the historic building.

The lease is for a longer period than the previous agreement, said Village President Dave Geisler. The renewal is good for 15 years, with an automatic 10-year renewal, unless either party gives notice that they don’t intend to renew by the end of the 14th year. That would give the theater a year to wind down and conclude its business, Geisler said.

“It was a good compromise,” he said. “They wanted a longer term, we wanted a shorter term, so it went back and forth, but it worked out well.”

He added there is a provision for terminating the lease if the theater’s board can no longer operate or ceases to exist. Based on the theater’s history, however, Geisler said that is unlikely to happen.

“It is totally amazing how fast they raised the money for the new elevator,” Geisler said. “I think they already had the money in the bank last year.”

When considering the cost of leasing the theater from the village along with the cost of the installation of the elevator, Geisler said the Theatre Board’s investment totals several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The theater’s board originally wanted a 50-year lease. The Village Council suggested seven years. However, considering the money the board has already invested in the facility, Geisler said he could definitely see why a seven-year lease renewal was too short a term for the theater.

Having raised the $325,000 necessary for the installation of the long-anticipated elevator, coupled with the renewal of the lease, the Calumet Theatre Board is rapidly moving forward with the final details to start construction of the elevator.

“They are finalizing their contracts now,” Geisler said, “which is very good news. And everyone likes good news.”