Fresh off a $1.2 million renovation, the Barre Opera House is ready to reopen, starting with a concert by folk icon Tom Rush on September 25.
Director Dan Casey says the crew is looking forward to bringing people back into the theater. The renovations include new orchestra-level seats, a fresh paint job and a new rigging system. The theater has 11 performances confirmed at this point.
“Everything is mechanized now, it’s simply pushing a button and the electrics that hold the lights will go down and come up again,” Casey said. “And it’s going to make things much safer for our tech crew.”
However, patrons will be required to provide proof of a COVID19 vaccination and wear a mask. “We now have to require our patrons to wear masks and to be vaccinated as well,” Casey said, adding that the threater will be replacing its air filters.
“They are better at capturing the nasty stuff in the air so people don’t have to breathe it in,” Casey said.
Casey said the money for the renovations came from a variety of sources, including an an anonymous donor who paid for a replica of the historic painted curtain.
“Many theaters especially in Vermont and New England had these back in the 19th and early part of the 20th century,” Casey said.
Casey said he hopes the new and improved opera house will do a lot for North Main Street.
“Restaurants, hotels, bars and other businesses that thrive when we are doing shows will bounce back more quickly,” Casey said.