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Historic Cedar Falls theater receiving upgrades

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – Restored to its current glory in 1994, the Oster Regent Theater is currently getting some needed upgrades.

“We have certain projects each year that we’re working on,” said the theater’s manager, John Luzaich. For the next couple of weeks, construction crews will be replacing windows in the lobby.

“The windows were not structurally sound, and we started removing the materials when we found a rotted mess underneath,” said Luzaich.

The rotted wood has since been replaced, and Luzaich hopes the new windows will last longer than they had. Crews have added clad metal to protect the exterior frame.

Luzaich takes pride in the Cedar Falls Community Theatre, particularly its volunteers and staff like Liane Nichols.

“I’ve been involved in almost every show since the community theatre began,” Nichols said.

Having started in 1977, the theater has changed quite a bit in Nichols’ tenure.

The group is currently undertaking 7 projects through 2020, including new carpeting, new lights, and an upgraded projection system. The building’s current projection system is aiding Nichols’ current production she’s directing in a number of ways.

“It helps us financially with the show, because its’ much cheaper to have productions than to buy a canvas backdrop,” said Nichols.

The director says she stays for the creativity and the final pay-off.

“It’s hard work but there’s such joy in it,” said Nichols.

It’s a joy, Nichols and Luzaich hope every patron takes pride in.

“People feel like they own the theater and they do. They take ownership when they come in and they’re proud,” said Luzaich.

CFCT is about halfway through a 5 year capital campaign, hoping to raise $1.5 million. Currently, they’ve raised $1.3 million.

The theater was built in 1910 and was originally named the Cotton Theatre.

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Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter

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