Historic theater at Copernicus Center to host President Obama’s Nov. 25 visit to Jefferson Park


President Barack Obama is scheduled to discuss his recent executive actions on immigration reform during a visit late Tuesday to the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave.

"We are very excited that the president has chosen Jefferson Park, the heart of Chicago’s Polish community, to visit and deliver his important message,” said Gregg Kobelinski, the center’s managing director. “The Copernicus Center, as one of our neighborhood’s most well-known landmarks in the area, and the largest community center, is proud to represent our neighbors and to host President Obama.”

Obama was scheduled to fly into Chicago Tuesday afternoon and return back to Washington D.C. immediately after his speech, which was slated to start at about 4:30 p.m. This is the second presidential visit to the Copernicus Center, which hosted President George H.W. Bush about 25 years ago.

The event will be held in the center’s 1,900-seat Mitchell Kobelinski Theater, which was built in 1930 as Chicago’s first movie house for talking pictures. The Copernicus Foundation, which is a cultural and civic nonprofit organization, purchased the former Gateway Theater in 1979, and later renamed it for one of the group’s founders.

Crews were inside the center on Monday hanging an array of U.S. Flags for the president’s visit. Security is expected to be tight on Tuesday, with road closures and airport-like screening for those who secured tickets to Obama’s address. Tickets were disturbed at the center on Sunday.

The White House Press Office released the following statement on Obama’s Chicago visit: “The president looks forward to talking to a diverse group of leaders on Tuesday, and continuing to discuss his actions with communities and Americans across the country.”

Obama’s actions reportedly could help up to 5 million immigrants achieve legal status in the U.S. Obama’s executive order “will help secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules,” the press office said.

Some Republican lawmakers have threatened to file a lawsuit to stop Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Critics claim that Obama’s actions go beyond his constitutional authority.

Last year the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate approved legislation on immigration reform, but it was never brought up for a vote in the Republication-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.

Coverage of Obama’s Nov. 25 visit will be available at www.nadignewspapers.com.