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Kanye West Commits To Avalon Regal Theater Renovation

Entertainer Kanye West has committed to help fund restoration work on the Avalon Regal Theater in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, as well as unspecified efforts to help rejuvenate the neighborhood itself.

Kanye West (in red) and Chicago Alderman Michelle Harris, to the left of West, at City Hall during a meeting about the renovation of the Avalon Regal Theater

The musician and others met with Alderman Michelle Harris of Chicago's 8th Ward at her City Hall office on Tuesday.

"Great meeting with Kanye West, Jerald Gary, business leaders and the 8th Ward’s South Shore United Block Club Organization about renovating the Regal Theater!!" Harris said on her Facebook page.

West offered his support to fixing the historic theater at 1654 East 79th St., also known as the New Regal Theater or the Regal Theater.

In a further statement, the alderman said the meeting was productive.

“It was a great meeting, and Mr. West was able to clearly articulate his vision and reaffirmed his commitment to helping restore this iconic venue,” Harris said. "The next steps are between the owner and West to determine how they proceed contractually."

According to Harris, West talked about other projects he wants to participate in on the South Side, though she did not offer exact locations. Last month, West (one of whose nicknames is Ye) said publicly that he was planning to live in Chicago.

As previously reported, theater owner Jerald Gary has already invested in the restoration of the property, but work remains to be done, especially in the interior. Harris said the amount West will contribute to the restoration is between him and Gary.

The theater was built as a movie palace in the 1920s and in recent years has been used occasionally as an event venue. Currently it is closed to the public.