The Citizens for a Civic Auditorium bought the former Iris Theatre, 230 W. Yellowstone, last week, according to a news release.

The building is located near the proposed downtown plaza, according to the news release from the group's executive director Glenda Thomas.

After a series of planned renovations, the Civic Auditorium will provide space for arts and community events such as conventions, banquets and meetings, according to the news release.

Thomas did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Movie Palaces Inc., closed the Iris in March when it opened the Studio City Mesa theater on Casper's west side.

The news release did not mention the purchase price.

However, the Natrona County Assessor's Office's states the property's market value is $2,440,905.

The nonprofit organization was founded in 2000. It wanted to build the auditorium on the former Amoco refinery site now known as the Platte River Commons, and asked the  Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board for $15 million for the project.

The ARAJPB pledged $7.5 million to the project if the Citizens for a Civic Auditorium could raise a matching amount of $15 million to build and support the project by the end of 2006. Meanwhile, the CCA board neglected to file financial statements, downsized the project without telling the public, and held well-publicized but barely productive fundraising events. The group failed to meet the 2006, folded the plans in September 2007 after the ARAJPB granted it an extension.

In 2009, the group then asked Casper City Council to pledge $5.5 million for the project in the Old Yellowstone District. Council later reduced that to $4.5 million, and that proposal faded away.

The CCA then asked Council for support to buy the Iris Theater from its owners, but that, too, ended at the end of 2012.

The news release did not discuss funding plans for the renovations, the number of seats the auditorium would have, nor a timeline for development.

The Civic Auditorium Board will offer a tour of the building, review conceptual designs and and answer questions at a news conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday.