Theatre Restorations Planned
Lewis and Clark Theatre Company Executive Director Chuck Lambertz examines the roof of the 107-year-old Dakota Theatre. The winter has taken a heavy toll on the roof, forcing the theatre board to push stage one of a planned renovation project forward to address the roof’s replacement. (Kelly Hertz/P&D)
Funds Are Being Raised To Replace Outdated Roof
By Shauna Marlette
Published: Thursday, March 11, 2010 12:22 AM CST
The 107-year-old Dakota Theatre is looking to the future with a three-phase planned renovation that should guarantee the survival of the historical Yankton landmark well into the future.
Opening to the public on Sept. 8, 1902, as the Yankton Opera House, the facility has gone through many aesthetic changes during the last century. It was renamed the Hess Theatre in 1921 when motion pictures became popular. In 1929, the theater was renamed the Dakota Theatre. Since then, there have been many facelifts, but a full-scale restoration has not been done.
“Beginning March 12, we are officially kicking off the restoration projects,” said Lewis and Clark Theatre Company executive director Chuck Lambertz, who was busy getting ready for tonight’s premiere of the joint LCTC and Yankton Children’s Theatre Company presentation of ‘Wonderland, The Musical Misadventures of Alice.’ “The first phase will be restoring and replacing the roof. Stage two will see the restoration of the historic panels on the front of the building and restoring the marquee. We will also be installing thermal windows and doors. Stage three will see us insulating, and restoring the stucco and brick walls on the three sides of the facility.”
Lambertz said that stage one of the project must be done now or risk major damage to the historical facility.
“In 107 years, the roof has been recovered three times, but a significant remodel of the roof has never been done,” he said. “There has been leakage and with three layers of roof, you just can put another layer on it; you have to restore it. I know when there are old leaks from the past, there are just problems that must be fixed.”
Unfortunately, it is not a project that can be put off any longer as the leaks are causing damage to the interior of the building.