Big changes are coming to the Ohio Theatre, thanks to recently allocated funds from the State of Ohio.
$1.25 million of the state’s capital budget was allocated for the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, who have combined a portion of the state funds and private donations to begin a $900,000 renovation of the historic theater’s loge, mezzanine, and balcony.
First up on the renovation list is the complete overhaul of the loge (that first section of seven rows in the upper-level seating) including new aisle steps, new handrails, and new carpeting. Those renovations began last week.
New handrails and carpet will be installed in both the mezzanine and the balcony as well, and railings lining the front and rear of the sections will be upgraded and replaced.
“This renovation was originally slated for the summer of 2020, but was suspended indefinitely as CAPA and other local arts organizations battle the effects of the pandemic,” stated CAPA President and CEO Chad Whittington. “These funds come at the perfect time, allowing us the opportunity to make use of the shutdown in a positive way. This renovation is an important safety enhancement for our patrons when we are able to welcome them back to the Ohio Theatre again, enabling us to offer an even better customer experience. We are very grateful to the State of Ohio for its acknowledgement of the beloved Ohio Theatre.”
Expected to conclude in mid-May, CAPA is employing all local contractors for the renovation.
All of the performance spaces owned or managed by CAPA closed March 12, 2020, as a result of the Governor’s executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people. Upon the Governor’s August 2020 reopening guidelines allowing public events at 15% of venue capacity, the Ohio Theatre has hosted a small number of public, socially distanced events such as an abbreviated CAPA Summer Movie Series and Columbus Symphony performances.