Buyer Closes Wheaton Grand Theater Deal

Jim Atten closes on Wheaton Grand Theater in downtown Wheaton, plans to start repairs next week.

Wheaton property owner Jim Atten closed the deal on Wheaton Grand Theater Friday, with plans to start repairs and fundraising for a new theater next week.

The new official owner is 501c3 organization, Wheaton Theatre, LLC.

"Now (the) next step is to raise funds necessary to restore the theater to the way it used to be," he said. He said he anticipates he'll need to raise $5 million to restore the theater. If all goes well, he said construction could be completed as early as July 4, 2014. 

Atten said he will start repairs next week, including fixing the roof and building facade. Other work includes removing partitions inside the building to restore the facility to a one-space theater. 

"(We'll) hopefully get to a point where we can introduce movies again," Atten said.

Rick Erickson, owner of Bold Steps, Inc. said community members will meet at Ivy Restaurant Thursday, Dec. 6 to define a project and fundraising plan.

Rob Siegel, spokesman for Suburban Bank & Trust said he's happy the deal was able to close and he wishes the buyer luck. "I know they have a long road ahead of them" he said.

The theater went on the market for just under $600,000 last spring. Atten reached terms for a deal with the bank earlier this fall. He declined to comment on the sale price. 


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