Benson Theatre Nonprofit Raises Funds
to Buy Historic Building in Omaha, Nebraska
After receiving more than $309,000 in donations, the Benson Theatre nonprofit purchased the neighborhood’s historic vaudeville theater with plans to restore its classic stage. The nonprofit leased the theater building from April 2012 to August 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. 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.
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. Once open and operating, the Benson Theatre aims to create self-sustainable revenue streams from entertainment ticket, program, and beverage sales, memberships, merchandise sales, and facility rental fees.