Davenport Junior Theatre/Instagram

 

I grew up watching my friends perform at the Mary Fluhrer-Nighswander Theatre along with Showtime Pal. I watched young thespians perform just a few years ago and noticed the theatre could use some updating. Now the Davenport Junior Theatre is hosting a grand opening this weekend after a summer long $180,000 renovation.

According to a QCOnline article, the remodel was to include only new carpet, paint, 370 new seats and handicapped-accessibility improvements. Because of exceeding fundraising goals, the theater at 2822 Eastern Ave., also now has a restroom remodel, new flooring, new doors throughout and a wide array of other small, but crucial, improvements.

The project started with a $70,000 challenge from the city of Davenport in early 2016, and the hope was the theatrical organization could raise the remaining $80,000 to see the theater renovation complete by the end of 2017

Through grants, corporate contributions and more than 400 individual donors, Junior Theatre Inc. was able to raise more than $110,000.

Founded in 1951, Davenport Junior Theatre (DJT) is the nation’s second-oldest children’s theater, offering classes and camps year-round in theater and dance for students ages 3-18.

DJT also performs full, professional productions with its Mainstage Company. In October, it will launch the 66th season with a production of "Alice in Wonderland."

DJT will host a free grand opening on Sunday. Special 20-minute showings in the theater will occur at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Each will be kicked off by Junior Theatre’s own Showtime Pal.  Immediately after each showing, there will be tours of the facility, lemonade, cookies and more. For more information go to davenportjuniortheatre.org.