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The demolition of the Town Theatre in Highland on Thursday. 

Nostalgia breeds community pride, but it also can overshadow the great opportunities arising from the ashes of bygone institutions.

It's a lesson that applies to many corners of our Region as we seek to modernize and achieve a new level of relevance.

Highland's Town Theatre becomes the most recent example.

Baby boomers and prior generations remember the theater as a past landmark of entertainment prowess.

Recent efforts to save the facility fell short, and the building was demolished last week.

In the end, the cost of renovating new life into a 71-year-old decaying building outweighed the benefits of trying to preserve it.

Razing it was the right move, even though it's easy to see why many Highland and greater Northwest Indiana residents remember it so fondly.

The good news for the town, and others dealing with similar issues, is that demolition of old, moldering clutter inherently creates potential for new opportunity.

Crown Point is struggling with similar decisions on abandoned or aging structures. The Crown Theater on the square, for example, has been out of business for several years, and Mayor David Uran and other city officials have said finding a new use for such a prominently located building is a priority.

On a larger scale, the Region also recently witnessed the closing of Merrillville's Star Plaza Theatre to make way for other modernized business ventures.

Clearly, not all old buildings should be razed.

Crown Point's Old Lake County Courthouse on the square and Valparaiso's Memorial Opera House are two iconic, landscape-defining structures that have been preserved, providing business ventures and a boost to quality of life.

But when years of neglect and failure to find renewed purpose render old buildings an eyesore, it becomes necessary to clear the clutter and make way for new ventures.

Communities left with this as the best available option should embrace it as an opportunity to grow in new directions. No amount of nostalgia should hold us back.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Assistant Local News Editor Crista Zivanovic and Regional News Editor Sharon Ross.