Ideal Theater In Clare Receives Nearly $1 Million for Restorations

Communities across Michigan are receiving grants recently approved by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, with $83.8 million through the Revitalization and Placemaking Program being distributed to bring new use and investment to properties impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The historic Ideal Theater in downtown Clare received some of that money for restorations. The plan is to bring the 90-year-old theater up to date and make it more accessible while maintaining the historic charm.

“Clare is more and more becoming a destination,” said Lisa Benic, director of the Ideal Theater Project. “It’s not just an intersection of two major highways. People come to Clare because of the community here. Our vision from the beginning has been to bring this back as a sort of a cornerstone of the of the town of Clare Not only as a historic building, but as a business.”

The theater received more than $900,000, and Benic says that’s about half of what’s needed for the project.