A major renovation of the historic Taft Theatre downtown has brought more shows and more people to the venue on Fifth Street downtown.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
CINCINNATI - Downtown Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre has nearly doubled its annual attendance since a $3.2 million renovation of the facility was completed.
Taft General Manager Ed Morrell said the overhaul, completed in Fall 2011, has allowed the facility to book roughly 140 acts per year, far more than the roughly 90 shows booked in prior years.
Attendance has gone from an average of about 100,000 people annually to between 175,000 to 200,000 guests per year, he said.
“People are beginning to rediscover it, which is great,” Morrell said. “Everyone benefits from the activity.”
The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry owns the historic theater on Fifth Street. The organization in late 2010 hired Music and Event Management, Inc., a subsidiary of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, to manage the facility and oversee the massive renovation.
The renovation added air conditioning to the theater, which was built in 1929. It also replaced the original seats with new, wider seats, which reduced the capacity to about 2,300. The project expanded the number of bathrooms and restored an original “drill room” into an 8,000 square foot ballroom that’s now used for smaller acts and corporate meetings and events, Morrell said.
“It allows us to bring in smaller, up and coming indie acts,” he said. “The hope would be that they start there, next time perform at the Taft and then next time either at one of our larger venues.”
MEMI also manages Riverbend Music Center and the PNC Pavilion at Riverbend. The company signed a 21-year deal to manage the Taft in 2010.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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