architects   designers   planners

Morris Performing Arts Center

South Bend, Indiana
Edward D. Francis, FAIA, was the Principal in Charge for the rehabilitation of the Morris Performing Arts Center. The Palace Theater and The Palais Royale opened in the early 1920’s.  For thirty years this facility hosted the great artists of the era and premiered “Knute Rockne: All American” starring Ronald Reagan.

Saved from demolition by Mrs. E. M. Morris, the property was given to the City of South Bend.  After years of under utilization the facility was rehabilitated and its interior restored to the opulent decor originally designed by Marshall Fields of Chicago.  

The facility contains three major functional elements:  
•The 2,400 seat Leighton Theater complete with pit lift, state of the art theater systems and a new stagehouse designed to accommodate the most demanding road shows.

•The only venue of its kind in South Bend - The Palais Royale Ballroom.  It is used for receptions, banquet, weddings, exhibitions, performances and dance.

•The Lobby undercroft contains the 100 seat Morris Bistro Restaurant offering pre-event dining. The elegant atmosphere is available seven days a week for private events.

The Morris, winner of eight consecutive South Bend Tribune Readers Choice awards, has been a critical factor in the downtown rebirth.

Projects completed under Kessler Associates.