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Local boost for Indiana theater where Red Skelton debuted

VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) - A southwestern Indiana county is pledging $30,000 toward restoration work on an ornate, nearly century-old theater where comic Red Skelton first appeared on stage.

The funding approved Tuesday by Knox County's commissioners follows the Vincennes' city council's decision to also allocate $30,000 for the project to spruce up the Pantheon Theatre's exterior.

The Vincennes Sun-Commercial reports officials are seeking a $500,000 state grant for work on the Renaissance Revival-style theater.

The theater opened in 1921 and was the first stage on which Vincennes-born comedian Red Skelton performed. It also hosted the Marx Brothers, Spike Jones and Duke Ellington.

The theater is owned by INVin, a not-for-profit group that works to attract arts and arts-minded businesses to the city about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Evansville.

Information from: Vincennes Sun-Commercial, http://www.vincennes.com

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