Kasson State Theatre expected to reopen in spring following refurbishment

(ABC 6 News) – It’s going to be a while before the Kasson State Theatre reopens its doors. The theatre closed in July because of storm damage.

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Owner Darin Steffl was already thinking about some renovations. When the theatre closed for repairs, he decided it was the right time to do it all instead of having to close again in the future for other projects.

On the outside will be a brand new marquee, siding, and a new roof. On the inside, moviegoers will be treated to heated luxury recliners, a new concession stand, a new projector, and a mini-arcade.

Rendering of the new marquee sign. (Courtesy: Darin Steffl/La Crosse Sign Group)

“A big storm came through on July 23 and we had water damage come inside the theatre there. So while we’re closed for repairs for that, we figured now is a good time to do all these other projects so we don’t have to close again later in the future,” said Steffl.

“It’s been like a two-year project but now we’re trying to compress it down to one year or nine months now that we’re closed for repairs.”

With all that is being added, Steffl is hopeful doors can reopen in February. Contractors are not as optimistic, and say April is a more realistic expectation.

“So, there’s a little pressure on us to get reopened as soon as we can. I’m definitely hearing that. At the same time, we’ve run into delays with construction and materials that are somewhat out of our control. So it’s one of those things we want to open as soon as possible but we’re at the mercy of contractors and the supply chain.”

Originally, Steffl was planning to spend about $500,00 on the project. Now, that number is closer to $1 million which is why the community is stepping in to help.

“Umm, I think we’re right about $19,000 raised right now. But our goal is $100,000. So we’re still looking to raise close to that number just to help offset that close to $1 million that we’ll be spending personally on the theatre.

“So we really like to see community members and loyal customers even from outside the area be able to donate if they’re willing and able to, to help keep this around for the next few decades.”

Steffl said he’s lucky the theatre was open for some of the summer’s blockbusters like Top Gun: Maverick, Minions: The rise of Gru, and Jurassic World Dominion. But missing the rest of the summer and the holiday movie season will take a financial toll.

Once the theatre reopens, online ticketing will be another new addition.