February 3, 2004

Theater needs development soon

The Meridian Theater has been an eyesore for the past two years. Since the business folded, the University has fostered the reception of community input about certain commercial possibilities for the space, even holding several open meetings to gauge public opinion. Though the University has claimed the best of intentions, the continued lack of apparent progress leads one to wonder if the project has been put on the backburner.

Now it seems the University is finally making a concerted effort to bring businesses to the space. With the anticipated addition of the Checkerboard Lounge, the University has the opportunity to make Harper Court into an even more vibrant retail and entertainment area.

Although many of us would like to see a movie or fine arts theater take its place, we understand that the costs of opening and maintaining a successful theater in that spot would make the venture very difficult. Retail clothing stores, which Hyde Park desperately needs, would be a good option as well.

Most importantly, we'd like to see the space developed into something both students and community members can use for years to come. No one can benefit from the former theater, however, until the University sticks with a definite course of action. Any development is better than the current situation.