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Lear Theater donation approved by Reno City Council

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:22 AM PDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 10:51 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Reno City Council unanimously approved Artown’s donation of the Lear Theater to the city in its meeting Wednesday. In association with the donation, Reno approved a donation to Artown, which will amount to $125,000 over the next seven years.

The building was built in 1939 and was originally a church. In 1998, after the congregation moved into a new building, Moya Lear bought the building to preserve it’s history, then donated it to the Reno-Sparks Coalition. In 2011, it was given to Artown.

The City is now looking for the public’s input on how to use the building to best serve the community. There are no plans to tear it down.

“It could be a theater,” said City Planning Manager Claudia Hanson. “We could bring in other uses. It could be a gathering place. It could be a wedding venue. It could be maybe a restaurant. You somehow bring in viable use that will help restore the building and give the public access to it to appreciate the importance of this building in the area.”

When discussing how much it may cost to revitalize the building, Hanson referred to a study done in 2013 estimating the total cost to be about $10 million. Being nearly a decade ago, she expects that number to be bigger now, but says the city will explore all it’s options to get it done.

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