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Donor Steps Forward to Help Gillioz Pay Debt and Challenges the Community to Help Too

A donor has stepped forward with a significant contribution to help prevent the historic Gillioz Theatre from being foreclosed and sold. Now, Springfield Landmarks Preservation Trust, which owns the building, is asking the community to make up the difference so it can pay off the debt that’s owed to Guaranty Bank. KSMU’s Missy Shelton reports.

First, the good news. The Gillioz Theatre is operating in the black now. The bad news is the Springfield Landmarks Preservation Trust needs more than $3.5 million by New Year’s Eve to pay off the remaining debt or the building will be sold. The trust oversaw the $10 million renovation of the Gillioz and the 22,000 square foot Netters Building next door. The complex reopened in 2006 and has hosted a number of events and concerts since then. Nancy Brown Dornan is past president of the trust. She says there’s a donor who is willing to make a large gift to help pay off the debt, but the theatre needs to raise the rest of the money.

Nancy Brown Dornan says, “We have identified a donor who has agreed to pay a substantial amount of money, but there’s still a bridge that needs to be crossed. The community has been challenged and asked to help support this wonderful theatre. We need to raise through the community between $500,000 and $750,000.”

Brown Dornan says gifts can come in the form of cash or stock. The Community Foundation of the Ozarks has set up a fund to accept donations. Even though this request for donations comes during the holiday season, Brown Dornan says she’s optimistic that people will respond.

Brown Dornan says, “The community has embraced the theatre, enjoyed the theatre for a number of years. If the community steps forward and gives from $10, $20, $50. Collectively, if the number of people who have enjoyed that theatre, if each person would give $10, it would be a done deal.”

Nancy Brown Dornan says she expects shows that are scheduled for next year will go on as planned, regardless of what happens on New Year’s Eve. We have a link to more information about the Gillioz on our website KSMU.org.

Gillioz Theatre Official Website