I’ve known about this since yesterday, but I wanted to wait until a real news outlet discussed it in more detail:
Cleveland Play House has announced an ambitious plan to move to a newly renovated space in downtown Cleveland, in partnership with Cleveland State U. and arts complex PlayhouseSquare.
The proposed $30 million project would renovate PlayhouseSquare’s Allen Theater, changing it from a 2,500-seat auditorium to two smaller theaters, one with 550 seats and one at 300, plus the addition of a third space that seats 175.
Here’s more on it from the Plain Dealer:
The impending deal by the Cleveland Play House to sell its complex at 8500 Euclid Ave., possibly to the Cleveland Clinic, should put anyone who cares about historic preservation on alert.
Because of where it sits in the city, there are scant regulatory controls on what a new owner will be able to do with the property. That includes scraping it flat and erasing a 1983 Play House addition designed by world-famous Cleveland native Philip Johnson.
And here’s Tony Brown reporting it all first:
Play House managing director Kevin Moore said renovating the 2,500-seat Allen into a 550-seat theater and a 350-seat theater, and adding state-of-the-art scenery and costume shops and a third, 175-seat theater alongside the Allen would cost $30 million.
The Play House also wants to pay off its debts, create a cash reserve for emergencies and expand its current $5 million endowment to at least $12 million to give the theater financial stability.
It’s all sort of a major, massive change to the way things are done in Cleveland theater. Now everything is going to be located in one place — not one district, but one building. (Cleveland Public Theater and Karamu are among others located elsewhere, but these are the powerhouses).
And meanwhile, Playhouse Square has a pretty damn amazing line-up this season.