Ohio Theatre reopens after years of renovation - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Ohio Theatre reopens after years of renovation

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After three years and $1 million worth of renovations, the historic Ohio Theatre is finally back open, but there's still more work to do, and theatre owners say they won't be able to do it without the community's help.

It was a tight finish. Volunteers were still getting the theatre prepped Tuesday. It's been closed since 2009, so having a fresh performance is a big deal.

160 talented TSA students took center stage Thursday night, but it was the Ohio Theatre itself that was the real showstopper.

Renovated lighting, staging, and updated restrooms are only some of the upgrades at the historic site. Theatre owners poured $1 million into the restoration, hoping one day to open doors to a new generation of guests.

"This is both a theatre and a community center. It's going to provide opportunities for neighborhood youth," says United North CEO Terry Glazer.

But there's still more work to do. Theater organizers still need to raise about $2 million to finish the outside of the building and bring it back to its former glory. They're hoping the restorations will bring more people to the community, and in turn help boost local businesses.

J'Mae's Home Cooking opened in January, right across the street from the Ohio Theatre. Restaurant owners are optimistic the newly opened attraction will bring customers to their business.

"I think it will be great for the neighborhood and community, as far as bringing more money to the area," says Jaleo Young, owner of J'Mae's.

Project developers hope to complete the final two phases over the next few years, finishing the facade and adding another building next door.

If you're interested in joining the Ohio Theatre & Events Center Volunteer Program, booking an event or making a tax deductible donation, contact the theatre manager, Jamie Sampson.  You can reach Jamie by e-mail at jsampson@ohiotheatretoledo.org or by calling 419-261-4088.

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