WEST ALLIS -- What began as a Craigslist ad led to a historic West Allis building being renovated. The Paradise Theater was slated for demolition, but found its salvation from a church!
Nearly 1,000 people packed the former Paradise Theater at the corner of Greenfield and National avenues for a grand reopening, Sunday, June 10th.
However, it wasn't a movie they were there for, but instead, prayer!
Epikos Church, which currently meets on the east side of Milwaukee, opened their newest campus on the former theater grounds. After seeing the Paradise Theater for sale on Craigslist, church officials decided to take a look.
"We just really believe that this is the area that we were suppose to be, and as you can see, we saw the potential and it is amazing," pastor Danny Parmelee said.
The church spent roughly $2 million to refurbish the building, that was in major need of repair.
"There was tons of water damage. The roof was leaking, walls need to be ripped out. It was in pretty bad condition," Parmalee said.
Along with restoration, the nearly 80-year-old building also received a new sound system and projection screens that meet the needs of the church.
"I think it is beautiful. I think it is great to be in an old building. I think they'll do very well and they'll get a lot of people," one church-goer said.
"It seems somehow appropriate that it is reborn in a religious fashion. Kind of a rebirth for the whole area," another church-goer said.
For anyone interested in seeing the restoration, regular services will be held at the new campus at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday at the corner of Greenfield and National.