Theater construction under way

Jennifer Shrader Staff writer

September 27, 2013

Construction on phase one of the expansion of New Horizon Theater is moving along and should be complete by late October or early November, theater director Bill Nixon said this week.

The original building was built between 1895 and 1900. There are currently 105 seats in the theater, but the adjacent Tailor’s Thimble building was bought last year and demolished to make way for the expansion.

The renovations between the two buildings will include a 240-seat theater, and a new stage addition with extra height to allow installation for better lighting and “fly” scenery into the overhead space for smoother set changes. The total project cost is $638,500 to renovate the two buildings. That includes a $70,000 revolving loan from the city and an enormous community fundraising effort in supporting the project, Nixon said.

Current construction is the beginning of phase one, the stage, backstage and costume storage areas.

Phase two will include turning the seating area 180 degrees, lighting and sound improvements, among other projects.

The theater also acquired the former Nader’s Music building across the street, which will be used for storage and as a display museum for the brothers’ antique bell collection. Nixon said the bell museum should be complete by October or November, along with phase one theater improvements.