Wednesday morning August 26th, the Vista Theater suffered a tragic roof truss collapse that affected the center of the structure over the auditorium. It is thought that the collapse came due to a roof-drain failure during an extremely heavy rain.
We can save the theater! The experts have weighed in and a variety of contractors have been hired to complete the first phase of restoration: shoring up for winter.
ROOF UPDATE AUGUST 28:
We expect to have a determination on Monday about feasibility of roof replacement and next recommended steps. As we wait and hope for the best, the board of directors is working hard to prepare for all possibilities. At this time donations will go toward whatever next steps are deemed necessary for the Vista Theater building.
A special membership meeting has been scheduled for Monday, September 14th to present voting members with options for moving forward when we will have more information about what can be done. Voting members will receive the meeting information shortly.
ROOF UPDATE SEPTEMBER 4:
An inspection by a noted local architectural firm revealed that a blocked roof drain combined with heavy rains were the culprit of this disaster. It was determined that the roof itself was not unstable and the structure would not have failed had it not been for the inclement weather. Prior to this incident, our organization has been working with a theater expert on a business plan including building renovations, repaired the roof above the stage, repaired the roof and north wall of the annex building and more.
This inspection also revealed that the building is stable enough to rebuild the roof! Some things need to happen immediately to save the building debris removal, wall supports, and temporary enclosures. The fee for wall supports are speculated to cost $33,600 and another $30,800 is estimated to install temporary wall structures to preserve the stage and balcony areas. But before any of that can happen, debris from inside the structure would need to be removed at an anticipated cost of $31,400. These things MUST be done before winter this year.
ROOF UPDATE: OCTOBER 20
So many cans! Our can drive to help finance the roof repair project was a HUGE success. Now a bigger challenge: sorting all of these returnables to go back to the distributors so we CAN cash in. Special thanks to Super One Foods Negaunee for allowing us to have a collection point in their parking lot and helping with our return project. Also thanks to Hager Hee Haw Farms for donating trailers and especially Bill Hager, our volunteer of the year, for all his hard work. Econo Foods Marquette and Super One Foods Marquette, thank you for hosting our collection events as well.
We are no longer accepting cans at this time. We have no place to store them (The annex is full floor to ceiling!) and it will take us weeks to sort the cans we have to get the money needed to finance the projects ahead. Thanks to everyone who donated!
ROOF UPDATE: NOVEMBER 16
Debris removal has finally begun! Thanks to Pitsch Companies for their help in this difficult project. Although the debris removal will be more costly than originally anticipated, the contractors will have the work done in just 1 week, as opposed the 4-6 weeks initially predicted.
Click here to see drone footage of the crane
ROOF UPDATE: DECEMBER 14
Part 2 of the winterization is under way! With the debris from the roof collapse out of the way local Negaunee company, Carrier Construction has begun work on the shoring of the walls for the safety of the building and surrounding areas. Special thanks to Gundlach Champion for helping us with materials for this part of the project at a great discount!
Click here to read more about the shoring and see pictures of the progress
The Historic Vista Theater needs your help to continue being the place where stories happen. From the plays on the stage to the lasting friendships made behind the scenes; families that have been making memories at theater for generations. Each of us values this beautiful place for all of the memories we have made and the memories we look forward to creating. Putting a price tag on those memories seems impossible, but building repairs, equipment, costumes, and so much more... all of these things start with your support- at any amount.
Donations like yours have helped us raise thousands of dollars for repairs to the Historic Vista Theater including:
We understand that not everyone has the means to make a monetary donation at this time. Learn more about supporting the theater by volunteering here.
If you wish to donate directly to our general fund you can do so here: