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MU buys historic Columbia theater

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ The University of Missouri has purchased a historic theater in downtown Columbia that the school says will replace a planned $58 million performing arts center.

The university had a three-year lease for the Missouri Theatre with a clause that the school could then purchase the building from the Missouri Symphony Society. The theater is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the university announced the $3.7 million purchase Thursday. The purchase price represents the symphony group’s unpaid debt.

The 86-year-old theater was temporarily closed in 2010 as fundraising lagged and millios of dollars’ worth of planned renovations were scuttled. The theater will provide MU with needed performance space as Jesse Auditorium closes in the upcoming academic year for renovations to the main administration building.
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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com