Marietta Theater Renovation Update

By
Fred Kight

Dateline
Updated Tue, Oct 4, 2011 3:46 pm

Established in 1788, Marietta was the first permanent settlement in Ohio.

Actually, it's the first permanent settlement in all of what was then the Northwest Territory.

Marietta has heritage homes, historical parks, and monuments.  

They take their history very seriously there.

One example of that is a project of the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association.

The project is the restoration of the Colony Theatre in downtown Marietta.

Hunt Brawley is the group's development director.

"We're trying to replicate what was there in 1919," he says.

That's when the theater first opened.

Brawley says the Colony Theatre organization will spend more than five million dollars on the project, which started with a contractor doing plaster removal and abatement work.

He hopes the actual reconstruction will get started in the next couple of months, and the plan is to be done one year later.

The Colony Theatre previously was called the Hippodrome and is located at Putnam and Third Streets.

Supporters want nothing less than a restoration to its former glory.

"The real strength of this theater is its live performance capacity," he says.  "It was built to Broadway specifications for its time."

The Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association calls the theater a "shining jewel in the cultural landscape of the Mid-Ohio Valley."

Or at least it was and Brawley is optimistic it will be again.

"We hope this will be an amazing economic catalyst in this area," he says.

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