Major renovations underway at the Palace Theatre

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Palace Theatre in downtown Columbus is getting ready for a complete makeover.

Theatre-goers will be excited to see the more than $6.5 million in renovations that will be put into the theatre over the next few months.

“So we came in on Saturday with a six-man crew and removed about 300 seats,” said one of the workers, as he removed even more seats.

The upper balcony and mezzanine seats will be replaced and the entire theatre will be repainted.

Around 900 of the theatre seats sat in the lobby Monday while crews worked to remove 1,500 more.

The renovations cover more than just seating. Two years ago it was decided that it was time for a major capital investment to the theatre that was built in 1926, says Todd Bemis, the Vice President of Operations for the Columbus Association for the Public Arts (CAPA).

“We started to see a lot of peeling paint. Scaffolding from floor to ceiling in the auditorium will take place. That will take two weeks. Then the painters will start to come in. They’ll clean all the painted surfaces, repair plaster damage. All the peeling paint will be scraped away and we’ll start that restoration to somewhat similar to what the theatre looked like in 1926,” said Bemis.

About a year ago they did a test on a wall where you can clearly see a difference between the gold then and the gold paint now.

“We really want the theatre to pop so you can see all that great plaster that is throughout the Palace Theatre,” said Bemis.

As part of the $6.5 million dollar renovation, $2 million dollars went into fixing the roof and the heating system last year. So where is the money coming from?

“Historic tax credits, some state funding, great corporate people have stepped up to help us and also doing a capital campaign,” says Bemis. “Making sure that the palace is taken care of and ready to do another 92 years of entertainment and we’re just pleased that we have this opportunity to do the work.”

Some hints of what the new colors in the theatre will be? There will be more of a prominent blue color scheme with some green happening for the paint in the theatre and the renovations are expected to be done in November because that’s when shows start back up again.
 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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