TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - There is new life for the last standing neighborhood theatre in the Glass City. Renovations are well under way on phase one of improvements at the Ohio Theatre located at 3114 Lagrange Street in Toledo.
Built in 1921, the theatre closed in 2009. A year later, United North stepped in to begin planning and fundraising efforts for the project.
"The theatre will open in May. We already have our first booking: the Toledo School for the Arts. We've been talking with the orchestra, the symphony, the ballet, the opera," said Terry Glazer with United North.
The $1 million of work in phase one includes a new stage area, roof repairs, adding a heating and air conditioning system, plus new restroom facilities.
"So many people have talked about when they were growing up coming to this theatre and the experiences they had with this theatre. Bringing this back is going to be a great boost to this neighborhood," said Glazer.
According to Glazer, the goal is reopening the Ohio Theatre as both a theatre and a community center, with an eye on promoting small business development and the arts.
"If you bring people into the neighborhood for the shows and the activities here, that means there's opportunity for businesses to open and expand along Lagrange Street. The arts is a very good way for improving academics. We're looking for activities for youth," explained Glazer.
Fundraising for phase two will soon begin to raise money for exterior improvements and new seats.