One man’s determination to save the seats at the Morris Performing Arts Center


SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – A civic-minded man from South Bend couldn’t stand it sitting down.

Tim Bennett is on a crusade to save the seats at the Morris Performing Arts Center.

All the seats on the ground floor of the Morris are gone. Around 1,200 chairs were taken away in dumpsters.

“The downstairs chairs were taken to the dump and that’s not going to happen in my community,” Bennett told 16 News Now.

The city says the ground floor seats were actually recycled after failed attempts to see if they could be reused.

“We appealed to arts organizations and otherwise there just wasn’t a good fit,” said Aaron Perri, director of Venues Parks and Arts. ” They are not alone. They’re designed to be installed in concrete and they share, they’re designed to be installed in a row, so they share armrests, so it’s not like you can really remove a seat and put it in your dining room .

Most chairs are arranged in rows of 10.

“At the end of the day, I’d like to get rid of the rows so they can live in a theater, or in a church, or you know, in somebody’s office,” Bennett added.

Bennett says he personally unbolted 400 seats from the balcony floor this week and has a contract to sell or donate the chairs.

“I am a disabled veteran. It’s very difficult for me to move around, but I wasn’t going to let the balcony down,” Bennet said.

But Bennett still doesn’t have a place lined up to store the seats, which are due for removal on Monday.

“I don’t know if it’s, you know, if it’s commitment or desperation right now, right? Like yeah, I’m in it, or fuck it, I really need help, and I need help,” Bennett said.

Contact details are available on the Save the Seats Facebook page.

Save the seats | Facebook

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