EFFINGHAM, Ill. (WTHI) - A local concert venue is bringing some of the world's biggest acts to the Wabash Valley. But, just a few years ago the theater was on the verge of closing. Now, the Effingham Performance Center has not only stayed open, but thrived in central Illinois.
Wednesday night. It's just about show time as crews tune up the drums and vacuum the floors. They're the last minute preparations at the Effingham Performance Center for one of the biggest musical acts in the country.
"Doobie Brothers is one (group) we've been trying to get for a couple of years. Patience pays off. Finally the routing was right and the Doobie Brothers are here," Janie Oldfield the EPC's executive director said.
If you take a walk around the EPC and see the sponsors and acts that have played to the Wabash Valley crowd, it's hard to imagine, it's seats were almost empty for good a few years ago.
"The economy combined with high operating expenses then expected led the theater to close in late 2009," Oldfield said.
Back then, the two year old Rosebud Theater was laid at the feet of the city of Effingham.
But, the city revisited the positives of having a community venue to showcase world class artists at the Illinois crossroads; and found a way to re-open the center.
"The money comes from the hotel/motel tax and many visitors come in to see our shows so it makes sense that's how they would support it," Oldfield explained.
4 years later, the EPC is a non-profit organization providing arts and entertainment. Entertainment officials say enhances the city of Effingham.
"We try to program to play to all tastes and all price ranges we wanna be accessible to the community that was important to the community when they chose to support this operation.," Oldfield explained.
Wednesday night, the fruits of their labor paid off. The road crew for the classic rock band the Doobie Brothers has taken over the performance center.
While they enhance the stage, the theater aims to enhance the community.
One show at a time.
To visit their site click here.
These past couple of days have been chillers. Without heating assistance, life could be unbearable.
Lawrenceville, Illinois schools have been dealing with a potential threat. Lawrenceville police told school leaders, a former student made threats against the school.
UPDATE: The 2008 Jeep SUV was driven by Leann Martin, 56 of Brazil. Martin was traveling west on US Highway 40 when she left the road and struck a utility pole.
UPDATE: Power has been restored to West Vigo Middle School.
Firefighters were called to blaze at a two story house at around 6:30 Thursday morning.
One Atlanta based law-firm says it has a reward for anyone with answers in an Edgar County Arson.