Star Plaza Theater and Radisson Hotel to be closed and demolished
Star Plaza Theater and Radisson Hotel to be closed and demolished. Image credit: NWI News

White Lodging Services Corp. announced this Tuesday it would close, and then demolish, the Northwest Indiana’s Star Plaza Theater on May next year. Along with the Star Plaza, the Radisson Hotel will also be closed to give space for a new bigger hotel. Star Production, said there are no plans for rebuilding the facility, and meanwhile they will offer its services to other businesses.

The new hotel will have 215 rooms (115 rooms less than the actual Radisson hotel) and 12000 square feet of space for meetings with also an 8000 square-foot ballroom for weddings and similar celebrations.

The CEO of Star Productions, Charlie Blum, said that after White Lodging had examined the building, they came to the conclusion that the theater and the renewed hotel blueprints were not compatible. So, the directors gave top priority to the new hotel.

Bruce White remembers the emblematic theater 

White Lodging Services Corp. Founder and chairperson of the board, Bruce White, said in a statement, he was sad about the closing of the theater because he had spent hours watching performances.

The CEO of South Shore Convention and Visitor Authority, Speros Batistatos praised the Star Plaza as it served as the launching platform for many careers in Northwest Indiana, including his. He also expressed concerns about the hotel losing 100 rooms and 20,000 to 30000 square feet space for conventions with the new renovation project.

White Lodging Communications Director Kathleen Sebastian said the company said the Radisson Hotel employees could ask for a transfer to any of the other establishments owned by the organization. They can use this opportunity to relocate to another part of the United States. Many of them have already settled in Indiana, and Sebastian added they would have their jobs back once the new hotel is finished.

Many artists started their careers in Merrillville at the Star Plaza 

The Star Plaza Theater is a live music local that opened in December 1979 in Merriville, Indiana with a different name, Holiday Star Theater.

At the big opening, Donna Summer offered a concert, and since then, it has served as a stage for prominent entertainers like Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, Phil Collins, BB King, Aretha Franklin, etc.

The Holiday Star Theater changed its name to the Star Plaza Theater when the hotel became part of the Radisson branch.

The theater has space for 3400 people in two seating levels. On the main floor there are seats for 2000 people and in the mezzanine level there are seats for 14000 people

Source: Chicago Tribune