Newly-renovated Champlin Hall is available to rent


CRESCO - Champlin Hall, located on the lower level of the Cresco Theatre/Opera House, is newly renovated and available to rent for parties, events, or meetings.
Cresco Theatre Commission President Gayle Kelm and Commission member Robert Ringoen said the renovation is nearly complete.
“We began renovations 16 months ago,” Ringoen said. “We wanted to make the theatre more functional to everyone.”
Space for parties, special events
Kelm said the City of Cresco donated a 42-inch television, and Kelm donated a DVD player to Champlin Hall.
“It’s a great place to have kids’ birthday parties,” Kelm said. “There is a lot of room for kids to have a pizza party and to go upstairs and watch a movie. They can also play a movie down here, or hook up an Xbox to the TV.”
She added, “People can rent the hall for presentations, graduation parties, or meetings.”
Champlin Hall includes a meeting room, two restrooms (a women’s restroom and a unisex family restroom), as well as a kitchen with a refrigerator, stove and microwave.
The renovated restrooms include a women’s bathroom, and a unisex family bathroom, complete with a changing table, that is handicap accessible.
The entryway to Champlin Hall features a stairway and also a handicap lift chair.
Kelm said the hall, which used to house the senior meal site, had not been updated in years.
“It had a very well used space, but it hadn’t been updated, and the colors were outdated,” she said.
The Theatre Commission painted the interior walls contrasting colors of gray and navy blue.
Local businesses assist project
Billmyer Furniture & Flooring donated carpeting at the seating area, and Evans Memorial Home donated furniture. New linoleum was purchased from Billmyer Furniture & Flooring. Supplies were purchased from Spahn and Rose Lumber Company, Ruppert’s Ace Hardware, Gosch’s Plumbing & Heating. Bob’s Electric did the bathroom lighting, with sheet rock by Dan Smith Construction. Decorah Tool & Die gave a $750 donation.
CUSB Bank donated funds to update the bathrooms, and Ronda and Jarry Hughes donated money and labor for the bathrooms.
Theatre Commission and family and friends and CCT (Cresco Community Theatre Productions) provided volunteer labor.
A nod to the theatre’s history in the Cresco community is the inclusion of a film reel cabinet dating from the early 20th century. The cabinet is located near the television.
“The renovation was really a team effort,” Ringoen said.
Kelm added, “We’ve tapped into every resource we know.”
Spring open house planned
The Cresco Theatre Commission plans to host an open house at Champlin Hall April 28-29, and is accepting donations for ongoing projects.
“We still have to complete the kitchen, and finish paying for the marquee,” Kelm said.
The Commission is also considering starting a Friends group, comprised of volunteers for special events at the theatre. Those interested are asked to contact a Commission member or City Hall.  
Kelm said the rental fee for Chaplin Hall is $50, and encourages those looking for a space for special events to consider the newly-renovated space. The entire Cresco Theatre is also available for rent, with pricing dependent on needs.
Theatre manager: Commission, City 
committed to accessibility
Cresco Theatre & Opera House Manager Wendy Lickteig said she is thankful for the Cresco Theatre Commission and City for their work.
“The Commission and City are committed to making this building as accessible and usable as possible,” she said. “We’ve had birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, and some people rent it for gaming. The PTO has it rented in March, and we have a lot of graduation parties.  We are breathing life into that space.”
She said the entire building is available for rent for special events.
“We’ve hosted everything from private parties to weddings, to training days and award ceremonies,” Lickteig said. “Cost depends on your needs, so call the Cresco Theatre or send an e-mail to: manager@crescotheatre”
Lickteig said the renovation project draws the community together.
“It’s a family affair; Commission members’ spouses and families invariably get sucked into helping,” she said. “The entire building shows the dedication of the Commission: The improvements, the painting, and the overhauling of space to make it more user-friendly.”
 Champlin Hall
According to the Cresco Theatre website,
‘Named after the theatre's generous benefactor, George Champlin Hall is a handicap accessible and large space for your next event. With a full kitchen, tables, chairs and room to move please consider Champlin Hall for your next shower, reunion, card party, birthday parties, craft show and more.
‘It is centrally located, handicap accessible, and includes a full kitchen, ample parking, and tables and chairs.
‘Champlin Hall is located in the basement of the Cresco Theatre Building and is handicap accessible via chair lift. Rental for the hall for a one day event is $50. Events must be paid for prior to receiving a key at City Hall. A $50 deposit is due at the time of reservation and payable to City of Cresco. Contact City Hall at 563-547-3101 to make your reservation.
‘Bring your own utensils, coffee pot, dishes, silverware and towels. There are eleven 7-foot-rectangle tables and chairs provided. Seating space is approximately 100 people.  The kitchen provides a sink, refrigerator, gas stove and plenty of counter space.’
Cresco Theatre Commission
The Cresco Theatre Commission is: Gayle Kelm, president; Alex Fortune, vice president; Shirlee Haw, secretary; Christine Minear, treasurer; Rick Nance, member; Robert Ringoen, member; Alan Schatz, member, and Jan Carman, City Council representative.
Its mission: ‘To preserve, maintain, and operate the Cresco Theatre as a historic landmark which benefits the people of Cresco, Howard County, Iowa and tri-state area by providing an accessible, unique facility and valuable cultural asset.
‘To encourage the presentation of professional and community-based productions of the varied musical and dramatic styles and traditions which come under the umbrella of stage and screen.
'To serve as a community auditorium to support the vitality of the local business and educational districts and enhance the tourism experience in the area.’

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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