Sidney, Ohio- Raise the Roof for the Arts (RTR) had a transformative 2016. The vision to transform the Historic Sidney Theatre is happening right now, and soon the iconic landmark will not only be a first class facility in which to experience the arts, but a gathering place for the community.
As the Shelby County community rang in the 2016 New Year, construction was well under way at the Historic Sidney Theatre. Westerheide Construction Co., the general contractor for this phase, led a team of skilled professions in installing a new electrical service to the building and equipped the stage house with state of the art theatrical rigging system.
Another dramatic change to the Historic Sidney Theatre was converting the east storefront into the main theatre office. Countless volunteer hours, numerous in-kind gifts, supporting grants and generous financial support from area businesses and individuals have made these updates possible.
Recently, two very generous donors stepped forward with a combined gift to update the SIDNEY marquee. The marquee was removed in December and taken to Wagner Electric Sign Company in Elyria, Ohio for full reconstruction. RTR looks forward to spring 2017 when the marquee is complete and adorning the building once again.
“From the very beginning, Raise the Roof for the Arts made a conscious decision to address the theater’s infrastructure as well as the cosmetic needs of the building.” said Sarah Barr, Executive Director of RTR. “Most improvements to date been behind the scenes, going forward updates will be center stage for the community to see.”
Her report continues:
Currently, plans are underway to upgrade the buildings windows and exterior doors along with renovations to the inner lobby, concession area, restrooms, auditorium, stage lighting and sound.
Once renovations are complete, the Historic Sidney Theatre will be used for a variety of events including live stage performances by local and professional tour companies, concerts, classic films, corporate meetings, workshops, weddings and many other community events. It is projected that the Historic Sidney Theatre will hold around 20 to 25 events annually.
In Ohio, the Arts are an economic driver in many communities. According to a study conducted by Bowling Green State University, the Arts:
• Generate more than $8 Billion in employee wages
• Generate more than $2.4 Billion in state and local tax revenues
• Contribute more than $23 Billion to Ohio’s economy
• Supports nearly 200,000 jobs in Ohio
Using the American for the Arts calculator, the Historic Sidney Theatre anticipates a yearly economic impact to the community around $12,000. This statistic indicated that on average, for every ticket purchased to an event at the Historic Sidney Theatre, an additional $22.50 is spent locally. These facts provide a real impact for the Shelby County community.
While construction continues, the RTR Events Committee has been busy establishing new programs within the organization. Raise the Roof for the Arts will host their second annual “Puttin’ on the Glitz” champagne luncheon/fashion show on Sunday, May 7, at the Oaks Banquet facility. RTR looks forward to working alongside local arts groups to create “Set the Stage” a theater day camp for ages 8-16, and the DP&L Foundation continues to partner with RTR to provide the community with Summer Nights Classic Film Series June 7 to Aug. 12.
For more up to date information about the Historic Sidney Theatre, visit sidneytheatre.org or call (937)498-1921. Office hours are Monday to Friday from 9 to 4 p.m.