UPDATE: People Bank Theatre Refurbishing Well Underway

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Nearly two decades in the making, the building formerly known as the Colony Theatre will make it's debut as the People's Bank Theatre this year.
WTAP took an behind the scenes tour of the progress being made this afternoon, and, not surprisingly, the refurbishments are a very involved process.

"It's a pretty neat old shell. There's not a whole left of the original building here. So we're going to dress it back up to make it look the way that it originally did to the best of our ability." said Ronald Ryan, foreman of the project.

The theatre expects it's debut this December. In the ten months between now and then, the piping, flooring, air conditioning, lighting, seating and much more will need to be refurbished.
But there is plenty for refurbishers to work with.

"You have these big hangers and joys so you can actually pull these out and pop these things out. They used to use them for magic acts ot storage if they had to pull set pieces up or down."

When refurbishing a building with as much history as the Old Colony Theatre, one walks a tightrope
between preserving the past and moving toward the future. But with the multi-million dollar
investment from People's Bank, Brawley believes they now have the resources to do just that.

"And you see the brick. It was originally plaster. We're going to take it back to plaster finishes and then re-use the original trim. The wainscoting and the columns here."

Only time will tell, we look forward to the grand reopening come December.

Two new grants from the Ohio Arts Council has the Peoples Bank Theatre in downtown Marietta moving forward.

Development Director Hunt Brawley says the theatre has received two grants.

One of those grants is a $11,000 sustainability grant that they had last year and they will get again this year.

The second one is a $16,000 creative economy grant that will be used for marketing materials, benches, archtiect rendering and signage.

Brawley says he is working with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Marietta Main Street, the City of Marietta, and Marietta College to make that block of Putnam Street a focal point for the city and a new theatre district.

"And the purpose of that grant was really to create a theatre or entertainment district in downtown Marietta, particularly in this block where the Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theatre and People's Bank Theatre are located. And the intent is to use those two theatre's as a catalyst," says Hunt Brawley, Development Director for the Hippodrome, Peoples Bank Theater.

The theatre is also working on new market or historic tax credits to fund the rest of the renovation.

Brawley says right now there is no movement with the tax credits and if they can't find an investor by September, they have to start looking towards a new strategy.

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