Morris Performing Arts Center Launches 100th Anniversary Celebration

SOUTH BEND, Indiana (WNDU) – This is the year the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend turns 100, and Friday was the day the party started.

“This is an important step. Very, very few theaters in the United States are 100 years old, ”said Aaron Perri, artistic director of Venues Parks. “We have planned a year of celebrations. There will be different things every month. Different opportunities for live entertainment, different ways to engage with the Morris.

Today, officials flipped the switch to turn on a sign mounted above the marquee that simply reads “100”.

The Morris also hosted an open house with free cocoa and cookies, as well as live music.

The Morris is so old that the cost of a ticket to the first show was only 22 cents.

The list of shows this year will be short, as crews meet some maintenance needs.

“We will be dark, the months of July, August and September,” Perri said. “That’s when our first round of capital improvements will take place. Most of them will be under the hood. We get a new roof, we get a new floor, a whole new mechanic, new lighting.

The Morris will reopen the weekend of September 30 and October 1, with a major festival in the square that will feature a still unnamed headlining act. “This will be a celebration that maybe reminds some people of other types of large-scale experiences that have been experienced downtown over the years. People love to remember the ethnic festival, or SB 150. We’re going to try to repeat this scale because we think it’s a worthwhile milestone.

There have been many memorable moments in the theater’s nearly 100-year history. Today, the former clients had the chance to take the stage and share theirs with a film crew. The clips will be posted on the city’s social media platforms as the Morris’ official birthday arrives on November 2.

Officials are in the middle of a $ 30 million fundraising campaign to pay for the building’s expansion and the addition of a new plaza, fountain and parking lot.

Perri says the campaign is about two-thirds over.

Up to $ 7 million will come from a bond issue to be repaid using the proceeds of the St. Joseph County Innkeeper Tax.

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