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John and Nancy Hughes Theater announced for Lake Forest’s Gorton Center

John Hughes

John Hughes

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Updated: February 10, 2014 7:31AM



Nancy Hughes, long-time Lake Forester and wife of the late film director John Hughes, will endow the transformation of the Gorton Community Center auditorium.

The John and Nancy Hughes Theater will create a state-of-the-art performance space for Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, officials said.

The new theater at the historic building at 400 E. Illinois Road in Lake Forest will include a theater marquee over the east doors, a modern sound and speaker system, digital lighting, ceiling-mounted, theater-quality video projector and digital video player, and a movie-theater-quality screen for large format films.

Nancy Hughes said in a submitted statement her husband spent many of his best years, as a film maker and father, in Lake Forest.

“Our family found it a fitting tribute to his film legacy, which often was set in Chicago’s North Shore,” she said.

The renovations, officials said, will usher in a new era for Gorton.

“Imagine enjoying ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ with friends and neighbors after the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony or seeing your child perform their very first concert with state-of-the art sound,” Chairman Blair Nagel said in a prepared statement.

“The John and Nancy Hughes Theater will bring together the members of our community for generations to come—it’s an extraordinary example of how our residents care for this treasured institution,” Executive Director Brenda Dick added.

The changes will be made working from the 2012 master renovation plan by Steve Wright of Wright Heerema Architects.



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