Major makeover of Homburg Theatre underway

Jim Day
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New seats, improved sound quality part of changes coming to Confederation Centre of the Arts main stage

Audiences that take in the first performance of 2014 at the Homburg Theatre in May should find the place more pleasing to the ears, eyes and bottom.

The theatre will be shut down for the next four months for extensive renovations that include putting in all new seats in the orchestra level.

The new seats, including the 304 installed in the balcony last year, costs $350,000, says chief marketing officer Carol Horne.

The seats will be wider, more comfortable with attractive mahogany backs while retaining the familiar red colour.

In addition to replacing all the seats, the current $7 million renovation phase includes adding two new access aisles, railings, new acoustic panels to improve sound quality, catwalks and reconfigured steps.

The familiar well-worn cloudlike overhang lights that are affectionately known to many as the ‘elephant’s diapers’ will be removed permanently as well as part of the major makeover.

“It’s a pretty big renovation...this is very ambitious on our part,’’ says Horne. “I think it is going to be quite different.’’

The first audience to take in a show in the renovated theatre is expected to be those attending a production by Dance Umbrella on May 3.

While the federal government is picking up the large majority of the $7 million renovation tab, the Confederation Centre must cover $700,000. Horne says more than $400,000 has already been committed to that total.

Money is being raised in part through the Name A Seat program that allows people to feature their name on a plague in the Homburg Theatre. Donation categories range from $1,000 to $10,000.

Organizations: Homburg Theatre, Confederation Centre, Dance Umbrella

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