Monmouth College New Theater
An empty, run-down building in downtown Monmouth will soon begin hosting theater classes and productions for Monmouth College. This summer, the college and city will work together to renovate a former department store.
Theater professor, Doug Rankin, says now that a new science building has been completed, the old one will close. And that will mean the loss of a former rat lab in the basement that he's used as a small theater, and for acting and directing classes.
The building is more than 100 years old, and at various times has been used for a skating rink, theater, department store, and for re-furbishing soft drink machines. In recent years though it's been vacant.
Rankin also thinks the new location, on South Main Street downtown, will be more accessible for local residents. The old theater was hard to find on the Monmouth campus, with very little parking. The new theater should be finished by the fall for two student productions in October.
(taken in about 1916, this photo shows the Bijou Theater on South Main Street in Monmouth. That's the building that'll be converted for the college's theater department this summer)