Dixon Stage Left begins demolition at new theater

Dixon Stage Left has moved out of its old locations and brought all operations to one site

Dixon Stage Left begins demolition at its new location, 105 S. Peoria Ave. The drop ceiling and pillars will be taken out as the space is converted into an auditorium that seats 120 people.

DIXONDixon Stage Left moved out of its performance space located on the second floor of 306 W. First St. on Monday and will begin demolition at its new location.

After moving out of its offsite box office, rehearsal space and storage units in early May, the performance space at 105 S. Peoria Ave. – where the organization has moved all of its operations – is the final piece of the puzzle in consolidating its locations into one.

The theater closed its doors at the beginning of May and wrapped up with its final performance, the Rendezvous Arts event with the KAIA String Quartet, on April 24. The organization, which offers arts and entertainment performances and activities to the community, hopes to reopen at its new location in early 2025, according to an April 10 news release from the organization.

The new location allows the company to consolidate all its operations under one roof, to expand the theater’s capacity in the future and will offer patrons first-floor access to the auditorium.

At the beginning of May, the theater began demolition on its new location and is in the process of hiring a contractor for the project. However, they are doing most of the work themselves, Scott Fattizzi, CEO of Dixon Stage Left, said in an interview with Shaw Local on Monday.

Local businesses have donated to the project and Dixon Stage Left plans on hiring a local contractor. It’s going to be a lot of work, as the new location was a storefront that housed C & N Supply, an industrial equipment supplier. The two big items on the list are adding restrooms and an auditorium, he said.

The auditorium at its old location could seat 60 people; the new auditorium will seat 120 people. By being able to seat more people, the organization will be able to sell more tickets and host productions from other theater organizations. Additionally, people will be able to rent the space for special events, conferences or speaker presentations, Fattizzi said.

In what will be the front lobby area, the theater plans on restoring the old tin ceiling tiles and carrying that design into the bathrooms as well. Inside the auditorium space, they are taking out the drop ceiling and the pillars that run through the middle of the room. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to use tin in the auditorium because that material is not good for acoustics, but they do want to come up with a similar design “to carry that feel into the auditorium,” he said.

Dixon Stage Left is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It opened in April 2014 with theatrical performances of “Vanities,” “Barefoot in the Park” and “RED.” Since then, Dixon Stage Left has put on 38 productions, including popular favorites such as “A Christmas Carol” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”

For information, visit Dixon Stage Left’s website at https://dixonstageleft.org.

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Payton Felix

Payton Felix

Payton Felix reports on local news in the Sauk Valley for the Shaw Local News Network. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May of 2023.