City Reclaims Adler Theatre

The keys to the Adler Theatre in Davenport, Iowa, were returned to the city July 31 by reps for a nonprofit organization that owned it for nine years and spearheaded its remodeling.

Greg Schermer, president of the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, handed a symbolic ornamental key to 3rd Ward Alderman Bill Boom during a ceremony in the theater’s lobby.

Schermer was picked by former Mayor Charlie Brooke to restart the RCPA for what Schermer was told was a $4 million project. The cost ballooned to $14 million before the renovations were complete in 2006, according to the Quad-City Times.

A combination of new market, historic preservation and Iowa state tax credits raised $12 million of the needed funds. Upgrades to the Art Deco-styled venue, built in 1931, included new sound, lights and rigging, adding loading docks, increasing the dressing room area and expanding the stage from 28 feet to 40 feet deep to meet the specs of touring Broadway shows.

“What that means for us is that when we bring in a Broadway show, it’s a first-run show and it’s the same show you’d see in New York,” Adler Executive Director Rick Palmer told the Times. “Before, we got a show and it was a good show. But they weren’t the first-run show. They had to be trimmed down, they had to be sized down to fit in the sardine can that we had.”