Supporters hope to save UP theater despite roof collapse

Associated Press

Negaunee – A group that operates a nearly century-old theater in the Upper Peninsula said it’s working to save the building after a roof collapse.

The roof at the Vista Theater in Negaunee likely collapsed Wednesday because of a drain failure while rain fell, the Vista Theater Advisory Board said.

This undated photo provided by the City of Negaunee, Mich., shows the collapsed roof at the 94-year-old Vista Theater in Negaunee. The roof at the theater likely collapsed Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020,  because of a drain failure while rain fell.

“We hope to have a solution as soon as possible so the good work and progress started by dedicated volunteers can continue. … With the right partners, donations and sweat equity, I firmly believe that we can save this historic building,” vice president Diane Darlington said.

The Vista, which offers movies and live theater, opened in 1926. Local residents formed the Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council in 1973 and took over operations. The theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“I want to make it clear that the building is not in the position where it needs to be torn down as far as we understand at this point,” said Nate Heffron, Negaunee city manager. “This building still appears to be very solid.”