Long-time Lakeview resident John Bogardus left a legacy to the Alger Theater, giving the Lakeview Community Partnership $20,000 to be used towards the renovation and restoration of the historic venue. Bogardus passed away in December 2019
Bogardus practiced law for 40 years in Lakeview before retiring, he was hired by Robert Nichols Sr. to practice law in the community. He was passionate about movies and seeing them on the big screen. He would often take his children, Brad and Brian, to see movies at the Alger Theater as he believed it was important to attend movies inside a theater.
“He was proud to call Lakeview home, and he always said you can tell when a community is thriving if it has a movie theater and bowling alley,” said Brad.
According to Brad, John was very proud of the people of Lakeview, unique individuals, and felt that this was a way to give back to the community and to future generations. Giving them a chance to see movies in town rather than having to drive to other cities. Brad says the reason his father left this legacy to help the theater is for Lakeview to continue thriving.
Brad recalled a time when Titanic came out in 1997 and how his father enjoyed the movie so much that not only did he bring the entire family to see it at the Alger Theater, John even went and saw it again the next day. It is one of the few movies that played at the Alger Theater longer than a week, it played for two weeks straight, as during that period of time most movies would play for a week before a new one came to the theater.
John was sad when the Alger Theater shut its doors in the mid-2000s as they were unable to afford the transition to digital. He became excited about the prospect of seeing movies on the big screen in Lakeview once more when the Lakeview Community Partnership (LCP) became involved in reopening the theater for both live events and screening of movies. He was a long time supporter of their efforts to not only purchase the building, but to renovate the structure as there are many issues that need addressing inside and outside the building.
Before this gift most of the funding for work at the Alger had come through fundraising efforts, and grants. With COVID-19 having an unknown impact on grant makers, LCP Exec. Dir. Ginger Casto is excited about the legacy that John has left behind for the community.
“I found out not that long ago from Joni Bogardus that John had left a gift for the Alger Theater. John had been supportive in many different ways over the years as we have worked to get the Alger restored to its former glory,” said Casto.
Casto is continuing to write grants and to consider fundraising opportunities, even though with the current restrictions on crowd size those ideas will have to wait until restrictions are lifted. She is hoping that many of her grant proposals will be funded, and that work on the Alger can begin later in the summer.
At this time the LCP Board has not decided on whether to name part of the theater after John, as they have not met since the contribution was announced.
For more information contact Casto at 541-944-8176.