In order to attract a wider range of shows and performances, the City Council decided that it would be necessary to increase the number of seats in the Main Theater to 441. The original plans included only 315 seats.
As we went through the business plan process, we learned that there is a distinction between a local theater, a regional theater and a national theater, said Mike Land, City Manager.
The magic number for attracting those larger, regional shows is 440 seats. We want to ensure that the theater is viable into the future. The Black Box, or Flex, Theater will be primarily be used by our local arts groups, and the additional seats in the Main Stage Theater will not impact our local performers. This simply presents a lot of opportunity to bring in other shows.
One of our former Councilmembers told me that we don’t want to limit ourselves for the future because we don’t know where we’re going. That was probably the most insightful comment that I ever heard, said Councilmember Wes Mays.
I think we need to be careful that we don’t underestimate ourselves here. As the theater was originally designed, it will be functional for our needs, but as we move forward, I think we would be limiting our potential if we don’t do an expansion. I’m usually not the one to go for spending more, but, in this case, I think it’s worthwhile.