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

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 5:40 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

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

Tim Bennett is on a one-man crusade to Save the Seats at the Morris Performing Arts Center.

All the seats on the main floor of the Morris are gone. About 1,200 chairs were hauled away in dumpsters.

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

The city says the main floor seats were actually recycled after failed attempts to see if they could be re-used.

“We put a call out to arts organizations and otherwise, there just wasn’t a good fit,” said Aaron Perri, Director of Venues Parks and Arts. “They don’t stand alone. They’re designed to be installed in concrete and they share, they’re designed to be installed in a row, so they share arm rests so it’s not like you can really pull out a seat and put it in your dining room.”

Most of the chairs are arranged in rows of 10.

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

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

“I’m a disabled veteran. It’s very tough for me to get around but I was not going to let the balcony go,” Bennet said.

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

“I’m not sure if it’s, you know, if it’s commitment or desperation right now, right? Like yeah, I’m into it, or holy crap man, I really need some help, and I do need help,” Bennett said.

Contact information is available on the Save the Seats Facebook page.

Save the Seats | Facebook

Copyright 2022 WNDU. All rights reserved.