Renovations planned for Marquette’s Delft Theater

Changes are coming to downtown Marquette’s Delft Theater, including $1.6 million worth of renovations.

The Marquette City Commission heard a presentation from the theater’s co-owner Tom Vear and Marquette Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Mona Lang about turning the historic theater into a restaurant.

The DDA is also applying for a grant worth about $400,000 to spruce up the marquee.

“(The Delft Theater) is an important part of downtown, and I think it’s a really exciting opportunity for the city to get the marquee back in fine shape the reuse of a theater,” Marquette Mayor Robert Niemi said.  “The marquee is such a signature item, it’s the nostalgia of the 50’s and 60’s–or maybe even the 30’s and 40’s, I’m not sure how old it is–but it’s just an exciting project.”

“We have spent quite a bit of time working through the process, working through the grant,” Lang said.  “And I think the community is going to embrace the renovations and the project.  This project will have a huge impact on the community, on the district, and I think it’s going to be a great economic development driver.”

The Commission also discussed a recycling transfer station located at the city’s old landfill.  Recyclables from the city will go the transfer station and the city will split the revenue 60-40 with the landfill authority.

“It’s something we’ve been looking at for years,” Niemi said.  “We use up a lot of space in the landfill burying garbage that doesn’t need to be buried and this will allow us to cover that extend the life of the landfill and not paying to buy something that has some value.”

Also on the agenda, the commission sent the city’s sidewalk cafe ordinance to the planning commission for revision to make it easier for restaurants to set up outside dining.