The Holly Theatre in Medford, Oregon has a new fan—actor, comedian, and musician Jim Belushi—and it’s changing their restoration project for the better.

A native of Chicago and resident of Los Angeles, Belushi was building a home in the Rogue Valley near the theatre (you can see his 6-episode series on the DIY Network about the project, Building Belushi) and wanted to be a major player in its restoration.

“You can just feel the history in a place like Holly—all the people that have gone on that stage before you,” said Belushi. “Beautiful places like this are irreplaceable and the flashpoint of many a community’s revitalization. It is critical to save them.”

Belushi joined the Holly Theatre in April as the Honorary Chair of the Holly Theatre Restoration Project, and since his involvement the donations have steadily increased for the theater’s restoration fund. On August 29 his blues band Sacred Hearts will join him for a special fundraising concert, “A Special Evening with Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts,” at the EdenVale Winery in Medford.

Belushi says he’s excited to be a part of saving the old theatre and seeing it thrive again. “There is nothing like these places. They are jewels that can’t be created today. And that they can do such good for a town is only the icing on the cake in restoring one. I can’t wait to be back to play on this stage when it reopens.”

Artist Rendering of the Holly Theatre Restoration

He’s not the only one with enthusiasm for the theatre’s restoration. Executive Director Randy McCray has spoken about the widespread positive effects of historic theatre restoration. “Repeated studies have shown the catalytic effect of projects just like this one to significantly and quickly boost the local economy, create a considerable number of jobs in the neighborhood and bring about hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revitalization. This has been true in my other projects, and Medford is in a better place to see economic improvement than were those communities,” he said. “And Jim [Belushi] just gets it. This project is so important for the vitality of his new community and we’re so lucky that he is willing to help.

If only every historic theatre could have a Belushi on their team.

Read the full press release on Jim Belushi’s involvement with the Holly Theatre here.

Purchase tickets for the fundraising concert.