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      MU buys historic theatre in downtown Columbia

      The theater will provide MU with needed performance space as Jesse Auditorium closes in the upcoming academic year.

      University of Missouri administrators bought a historic theater in Downtown Columbia for $3.7 million.

      School leaders say the Missouri Theatre on Ninth Street will replace a planned $58 million performing arts center.

      The University had a 3-year lease for the Missouri Theatre with an option for the school to buy the building from the Missouri Symphony Society.

      The theater is on the national register of historic places.

      The 86-year-old theater was temporarily closed in 2010 when owners had trouble with fundraising and millions of dollars worth of planned renovations were put on hold.

      The theater will provide MU with needed performance space as Jesse Auditorium closes in the upcoming academic year for renovations to the main administration building.