Civic Center continues facility upgrades

By Tara Jones -

LIMA — The Veterans Memorial Civic Center has made changes to improve the overall experience for both guests and acts.

This season, the Civic Center rolled out new carpeting in the Mercy Health Lobby to greet guests coming to shows or events in Crouse Performance Hall. The $125,000 project was part of the facelift the Civic Center has been working on for the past four years.

Throughout that time, a new digital marquee sign was installed out front, and a reception area was configured at the entrance of the building.

“We’ve had a lot of things happening, and we definitely have our eye toward the future to make sure we are making this building as efficient and operable as possible moving forward,” Civic Center CEO Abe Ambroza said. “Crouse Hall is an extremely important part to who we are. There are a lot of people in the community that spend their time throughout the year with their entertainment dollars coming to Crouse Hall to see amazing touring shows. We wanted to make sure we are staying up to date and up with our competitors when it comes to bringing in top-notch talent throughout the country.”

Those upgrades in the performance hall aren’t necessarily obvious to the average eye, however. Erin Isaacson, director of technical theater, said the Civic Center has been improving the stage rigging and lighting through the course of the last four years, a project that is still in progress.

“The biggest part for us, even though it’s not something a lot of customers can see when they come in the door, this has allowed us to bring in a lot of the touring shows that may not have come without it,” Ambroza said. “The biggest example would be our Broadway shows, when they come in here they are utilizing every inch of our facilities. If we had line sets that weren’t working, they would either have to strike a part of the show or simply wouldn’t bring their show here because of the fact that we would have to affect their show so much.”

The stage crew also has digitized and wireless control of the sound and light boards through a tablet.

“It makes us a viable theater to get shows in. It’s bringing this theater back to its heydey instead of being stuck 20 years in the past,” Isaacson said. “Just like anything else, there’s always new technology … what we’ve done is re-invest in that technology to make it an attractive venue.”

Updates were made to the convention halls as well, including new pipe and draping along the walls and audio and visual projection screens. Jones | The Lima News

By Tara Jones

Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.

Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.

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