Twin Tiers Theater Consortium holds meeting

In late October the Twin Tiers Theatre Consortium met at the Sawmill Center for the Arts in Cook’s Forest, the newest member of the Consortium.

The Twin Tiers Theatre Consortium was developed by a group of local theater and performance organizations six years ago, led by Struthers Library Theatre, with the collective goal to be a resource for each other in the rural regions of Northwest Pennsylvania and Western New York State. The biannual meetings among the theatre executives and administrators are held from mid-morning to late afternoon allowing the participants a full day of networking, education, information gathering and problem solving, peer to peer.

The agenda at the most recent meeting in Cooks Forest included safety planning, ticket pricing, area performance bookings, technology changeovers, electronic ticketing systems, media advertising effectiveness and film booking agencies and fee structures.

Attendants at the meeting in addition to the hosting Sawmill Center included theatre executives from the 1893 Fredonia Opera House, Barrow-Civic Theater in Franklin, Academy Theater in Meadville, the Palmer Opera House in Cuba, NY, the Bromley Theater at Pitt-Bradford, Area Community Theater of Sharpsville, Brookville Community Theater and the Struthers Library Theatre in Warren.

Marcy O’Brien, Executive Director at Struthers, has announced that the next Twin Tiers meeting will be held at the Struthers Library Theatre in April for a regular meeting in addition to touring the newly renovated facility.

Over the past sixteen months, the theatre has constructed a four story elevator tower soaring over ninety feet which is providing access for all to the Mezzanine and Library Room on the second level, the top of the upper balcony and the lighting and projection booth on the third level and topping off with the rehearsal hall on the fourth floor.

The theatre has installed a lift into the Library Room, redone all its sidewalks, and created a plaza area on Liberty Street adjacent to the newly accessible shop area which will become a cafÈ in 2018. The 44-foot glass and steel marquee replaces an 18-foot canvas overhand. The new marquee sports both Edison -style performance lights as well as up-lights washing the front architectural façade. The marquee’s center is glass flanked on each adjacent side with heating units for cold or inclement weather.

New theatre roofing replacing the entire 80-year old roof systems will be complete before the end of the year. The final renovation on the 2.75 million dollar project is the replacement of the 98-year old seats which will be removed in Mid-December. New seating will be installed with hand holds added at the end of every aisle in the balcony for both safety and comfort.

Although the theatre has not missed a performance due to construction, keeping the theatre open throughout has been a major staff challenge. The Grand Reopening Gala to be held on February 24 will celebrate the completion of the 20-month project as well as the theatre’s 135 birthday.

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