By Todd Wineburner
The Pontiac City Council last night approved a $115,000 loan for the Crescent theater. Theater operator Mike Occhipinti told council members that the production and distribution of films is moving away from 35mm prints, with many new releases exclusively available for digital projection equipment. Without an equipment upgrade, the Crescent will have no choice but to close.
The approved measure will enable the theater to obtain the appropriate equipment and is the product of a series of meetings between theater management and city officials. The loan for the theater comes from TIF funds, and City Administrator Bob Karls says this agreement fits the purpose of TIF funds perfectly.
Along with the commitment to the Crescent theater, the council also approved the purchase of the now-empty Eagle theater. Karls said the city has been trying to find a developer to take over that property for some time, but the condition of the roof has been a deterrent for investors. Karls says the city's goal is to restore the basic structures of the Eagle to make it more marketable.
The council also approved a request from Pontiac resident Judy Barnard to establish a retail business at 317 N. Mill. Barnard is an award-winning creator of plush toys who currently sells her creations in Washington, Illinois.