History of the Vermilion Heritage Foundation


The City of Danville now owned the theatre. Vermilion Heritage Foundation was formed to restore the theatre. The five Danville stars, Donald O'Connor, Bobby Short, Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Van Dyke and Gene Hackman came to Danville to do a benefit for the theatre. Approximately $400,000 was raised at the time. Because an expected state grant did not come through the complete restoration of the Theatre was postponed.


It was announced the building was unstable and should be destroyed. Old Town Preservation Association pleaded to have the building saved. The City of Danville gave the theatre to the Old Town Preservation Association. This group set about having the necessary structural work done to make the building stable.

June 1998

The Old Town Preservation Organization sold the building to the Vermilion Heritage Foundation so the funds raised by the stars' benefit could be used to start renovation to the lobby area of the theatre. Many of the members of the Board of Directors of the Vermilion Heritage Foundation are Old Town Preservation members. The renovation and expansion of the lobby was completed, including refurbishing and replacing the tin ceiling, new heating and air conditioning, and the creation of a concession area. A donated boiler and theatre seats have been installed.

Over the years, much money has been donated and spent keeping the theatre in a viable, restorable state.