Thursday, October 18, 2018
By GUY D’ASTOLFO
The Youngstown Playhouse has added lights to its parking lot and also installed decorative lights that bath the building facade in color.
The project, which cost approximately $10,000, is the first in its renovation and beautification campaign.
The theater parking lot is now fully lighted for the first time in many years, said James McClellan, operations manager of the facility. The entire perimeter and center of the lot, which provides free parking, is now brightly lit, increasing the safety of patrons and also calling attention to the theater’s presence on Glenwood Avenue.
The towering facade of the building has become a focal point, as it is now bathed in light that changes color, giving the 59-year-old building a night time glow.
Additional work that has already been completed include new flower beds, trimming of the brush along the perimeter of the parking lot and removal of a broken-down fence around the lot.
The next round of improvements will include roof repairs; repair and replacement work on the building’s exterior stucco, mortar and cinder block; painting the facade; and upgrading the awning and gutters.
The roof work will begin next month, said McClellan.
Further and as-yet unspecified improvements to the interior of the theater will come at a later time.
Aey Electric installed the lighting, under the supervision of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation.
Funding is coming from the Playhouse’s capital campaign, which was launched earlier this year. So far, $83,500 has been raised toward the goal of $228,000, according to McClellan.
The Youngstown Foundation donated $50,000 to the campaign, the most sizeable gift. Donations have also come from from the J. Ford Crandall Memorial Foundation, the Walter E. and Caroline H. Watson Foundation, the Ruth Beecher Charitable Trust, the Home Savings Charitable Foundation, the Frances Schermer Charitable Trust, ServeOhio, and the Bernard and Elaine Soss Charitable Trust.
Funding for the lighting project and upcoming improvements was also provided by City Council members Lauren McNally and Anita Davis, disbursing their discretionary funds.
McClellan said tickets sales at the community theater are also going strong.
“Flex pass sales for the current season are at an all-time high, at least partly due to the addition of ‘Mamma Mia!’ to the schedule,” he said. A total of 529 season-ticket packages have been sold so far.
McClellan said that a long-range goal of the Playhouse is to replace the sign at its Glenwood Avenue entrance with a digital one.