Orillia's opera house to undergo $3M renovation
The Orillia Opera House has shone the spotlight on thousands of performances and now it’s about to get a much needed facelift.
The century-old venue will undergo renovations to improve the facility, which includes changes to all 700 theatre seats. The theatres balcony seats are currently held together by duct tape.
“The seats were new to us in the 80s, but really they had come second hand. We were getting them 30 years old,” says Wendy Fairbairn, manager of the opera house.
There will be 16 accessible seats, up from just four. Other upgrades include replacing the 30-year-old HVAC system, new lighting and carpet.
The cracked theatre walls and doors will also be repaired.
"We have an opportunity for people to know who we are. The performances are here, we just got to entice the audiences to come back. That's where we're going with our renovations."
The renovations carry a $3 million price tag. The federal government and the city are splitting the costs.
“It's a cultural hub and economic driver in our community,” says Mayor Steve Clarke. “We're looking at upgrade the usability, the comfortable level and the attractiveness to outside performers.”
The opera house will remain open during the renovations. Many events will take place in the smaller studio theatre.
As for those old worn seats, the public will have a chance to own a piece of history.
The upgrades will begin next month and are expected to take a year to complete.