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Star Plaza theater, hotel to be demolished in Merrillville

The auditorium of the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville. | Radisson.com

Hotel officials say the Star Plaza Theatre and its adjacent Radisson Hotel in Merrillville will be demolished next year to make room for a new hotel.

White Lodging president and CEO for investments and development Deno Yiankes says the hotel will close in January and the theater that has hosted top entertainers including Liberace, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Chris Rock will end its final season in April.

The Munster Times reports a more upscale hotel with 215 rooms and 12,000 square feet of meeting space is due to open in late 2018.

Billionaire Dean White built a Holiday Inn at the site where Interstate 65 and U.S. 30 intersect in 1969. His son Bruce White’s Whiteco Industries added the theater in 1979.

White Lodging notified employees of the plans Tuesday.