The three-decade wait is almost over for local residents wanting their first view from the Park Theater balcony.
“The balcony seats have arrived,” said Park Theater manager Kevin Roberts on Wednesday. “Installation begins today. It should take about a week or so.”
Balcony patrons will notice a slight change in the appearance of the balcony as only the lower half has been renovated. A wall now divides the two areas.
Phase two of Park Theater renovation, the balcony, was divided into two sections by a partition wall. The balcony’s lower level was included in the most recent renovation, while the upper area was sectioned off with a temporary wall for later consideration.
The area was measured and estimated to hold 194 seats, bringing the number of fixed seats up to 569 for the building. Portable chairs that can be used on the mezzanine are not included in that total.
Park Theater closed during fair week in 1986 and remained closed until May 16, 2015. It was constructed in 1939 by Cowan Oldham with seating for 1,000 people. That number was increased to 1,500 after a fire destroyed the interior and renovation was required.
Today’s building codes required some changes in the layout in order to bring the building into compliance. Those changes reduced the number of fixed seats within the building.