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Broadway Theatre Fire Under Investigation For Arson; Fundraising Begins to Save the Building

Local not-for-profit Cape Broadway Theatre hopes to save the building despite the $300,000 in damages.

The Cape Girardeau Police Department is investigating a fire that took place at the former Broadway Theatre building earlier this week as a possible case of arson, Southeast Missourian reports.

"Evidence was collected, but that does not determine that it was definitely an arson," said Sgt. Joey Hann. "All that says is that we collected evidence that may be used later if we can determine that there was an arson."

The fire damaged roof and floor joists, and the front of the building would need to be stabilized before it can be reopened. There is an estimated $300,000 worth of damage.

Suzanne Hightower, president of local not-for-profit Cape Broadway Theatre, hopes to still be able to save the building.

"From what I've heard, they were able to stop the fire before a lot of the theater part was damaged," Hightower said. "It's mostly that front part. If we can stabilize the front wall of the building, I think we'll be okay."

"It was going to be a big project, no matter what," she said. "My fear was that the city was going to condemn the building and tear it down, so as long as the building's up and Phil (Brinson) can still donate it, we're going to get this done."

According to Hightower, the project is going to cost approximately $15 million, and Cape Broadway Theatre's fundraising efforts are expected to begin Tuesday.

Hightower has created a GoFundMe fundraiser to help cover the initial $250,000 for pre-planning costs and to stabilize the building. Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/f/cape-broadway-theatre-project.

Read more on Southeast Missourian.


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