AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Thanks to generous donors and federal money, the Akron Civic Theatre was able to get a more than $8 million dollar face lift.
Executive Director of the Akron Civic Theatre Howard Parr said the money went to renovating the grand lobby, creating a new stage area and other improvements.
“Put some murals on the outside of the building, build a brand new box office, we got a lot done for 8.5 million dollars,” said Parr.
Parr says things are looking up now, but the pandemic cast a dark shadow over the historic landmark.
“It was tough, we reduced our staff considerably,” said Parr.
Parr said donors won’t regret their investment.
“We did about 200 events a year before the pandemic, and now with the new Knight Stage opening up, we’ll be doing around 300 events a year,” said Parr. “We’ll be bringing around 150,000 people downtown and an economic impact of about $8 million annually.”
Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan said the newly renovated theatre will take Akron’s downtown entertainment scene to a whole new level.
“I look at playhouse square and I look at other cities... I love all the theaters in Playhouse Square, but I don’t think it has anything on the civic,” said Horrigan.
In the past couple of months, there has been only small-scale events inside the theater, but Parr said they hope to have bigger events starting in mid-August.