About the Lerner Theatre

THEATRE RENOVATION

The end result of the renovation is a marvelous example of what can happen when a community’s love for history, the arts, and civic pride are expressed through the willingness to fund – through public and private dollars – a project of this magnitude.

 

The $18 million Lerner Theatre renovation project was designed, budgeted, and approved by the City of Elkhart in 2008. Construction began in early 2009 and was completed in June 2011.

Importantly, the entire project actually encompasses two buildings: the Lerner Theatre restored to its original luster and authentic in every detail, and the Crystal Ballroom was constructed from the ground up and designed to match the adjoining theatre. The Crystal Ballroom stands on the site of the former Sorg Jewelers building, which was torn down as part of the Lerner project.

Inside the theatre itself, the renovation was painstaking. Craftsmen hand painted the ceiling and the signature “mushroom” chandelier while standing on scaffolding that took several weeks to construct. Project managers meticulously found swatches of original curtain fabric, upholstery, wallpaper, and paint that had been covered and protected over the years, then used spectrum technology to match the color with modern materials.

The end result is a marvelous example of what can happen when a community’s love for history, the arts, and civic pride are expressed through the willingness to fund – through public and private dollars – a project of this magnitude. The Lerner Theatre and Crystal Ballroom serve both to preserve history and to blaze a new trail in Elkhart’s future.

Lerner Theatre Renovation Documentation

Lerner Theatre Renovation Project Part 1 by Majority Builders

Lerner Theatre Renovation Project Part 2 by Majority Builders

Lerner Theatre Renovation Project Part 3 by Majority Builders

More About The Theatre

HISTORY

On March 31, 1923, Harry E. Lerner, an Elkhart businessman, announced he planned to construct a modern "theatrical palace" on the corner of Franklin and Main Streets
in downtown Elkhart.

RENOVATION

The $18 million Lerner Theatre renovation project was designed, budgeted, and approved by the City of Elkhart in 2008. Construction began in early 2009 and was completed in June 2011.

Kimball Organ

The Kimball pipe organ located in Elkhart, Indiana’s Lerner Theatre is one of only three Kimball pipe organs currently installed in its original location.