Benson Theatre nonprofit buys historic Vaudeville Theater
The nonprofit leased the theater building from April 2012 to Aug. 2014 while raising funds to buy and restore the landmark to serve as a shared community space for business education and artistic performance.
Centrally located in the flourishing Benson business district, the Benson Theatre building has sat empty for years.
“I believe in the vision for the Benson Theatre,” said Jim Mammel, who contributed a significant financial gift to the Benson Theatre nonprofit. “From children to the elderly, the theatre’s reach will be all-inclusive.”
The Benson Theatre will offer independent programming and will serve as an alternative stage in north Omaha for the metro’s existing nonprofits, schools, and performing arts organizations.
Programming in the Benson Theatre will focus on education during the day – including workshops for artists, entrepreneurs, and underserved populations including special needs groups and the impoverished — and entertainment at night.
“This physical space will be utilized by many in the metro area and will foster economic growth within our community,” said Benson Theatre Director Amy Ryan. “We’re thrilled to reach this milestone and purchase the building.”
Built in 1923, the Benson Theatre building at 6054 Maple St. is currently closed to public assembly and in need of a full renovation. The nonprofit will raise an additional $1.2 million to fund the renovation and the nonprofit’s first two years of operating expenses.
A new group of community leaders joined the Benson Theatre Board of Directors in early 2014 to guide the nonprofit through the remainder of its capital campaign.