At 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 14, 2015 a Ground Breaking Press Conference was held at the Peoples Bank Theatre to an enthusiastic group of dignitaries, supporters and press. Peoples Bank announced it will make an additional $3.7 million investment to directly fund the final construction of the Peoples Bank Theatre, a $7.5 million restoration project.
The investment is the largest corporate outlay given to the theatre to date. The funds will be used for the final phase of construction. The investment consisted of acquiring state and federal tax credits to fund the project.
“This is a huge step forward for the viability of the theatre,” said Hunt Brawley, Hippodrome/ Colony Historical Theatre Association director of development. “Without Peoples Bank this would not be possible. We have tried for years to gain credit from national banks for this final phase. That’s been the difference – national versus local. Peoples Bank, a community bank, has made this happen by stepping up when and where others have not. This is a significant investment and we are very appreciative of Peoples Bank’s ongoing support.”
Fundraising for the project began in 2004. Brawley indicated that approximately $2 million has been spent on design, demolition, roof replacement, environmental remediation, and structural repair.
Under the direction of general contractor Grae-Con Construction Company, final construction will take approximately 10 months to complete. A grand-opening, red-carpet event is planned for December.
Sponsorship opportunities (such as naming rights for the lobby, stage, and auditorium) are still available to assist the theatre with long-term operating needs and added value items like state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, etc. Seat Sponsorships are another way to give. Seat availability can be seen on the website or at the HCHTA office. Charitable donations for the project may be made online at www.hipp1919.com or by contacting the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association at 740-373-0894.
–Bill Wesel, original HCHTA
“We’re dedicated to the restoration of the theatre and aiding in the revival of Putnam Street. Supporting the arts and culture in this region is a commitment Peoples Bank made nearly a century ago.”
-Chuck Sulerzyski, Peoples Bank President & CEO
“Seeing this project come to fruition is important for Marietta, Washington County, and the entire Mid-Ohio Valley. We must continue to find ways to elevate our cultural offering –whether it’s performing arts or preserving our historical structures.”
-Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews
“Schools and colleges have many financial obstacles and are frequently seeking new ways to provide access to a broad range of arts programs. Having access to a premier venue like this will serve to enrich the lives of all students in this region.”
– Dr. Joseph Bruno
Marietta College President
“It is impressive to see a community rally to preserve its historic structures. Peoples Bank and the Hippodrome Colony Historical Theatre Association, along with countless other individuals and businesses, are accomplishing something remarkable with the revitalization of the theatre. I am looking forward to seeing the curtain rise on the first production in the renovated space.”