GOWANDA — Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater recently completed two major projects.
Both projects were expected to be completed sooner, but with an early frost in 2019 and a COVID-19 pause order in spring of 2020, plans were put on hold.
A grant from the New York State Council on the Arts funded both projects, said Deb Harris, project coordinator.
“The Hollywood is excited to have a new, high quality audio surround system installed in the theater by RONCO,” Harris said. “Theater goers know that the quality of sound has a major bearing on the experience of both the performer and the audience,” she added.
When theaters are able to re-open, the new sound system will be a welcome addition for concerts, lectures, live performances and eventually films.
Harris said that at a virtual conference she participated in on Jan. 9, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., told performing arts professionals that he believed that theaters and other venues could open “sometime in the Fall of 2021” depending on the vaccination rollout and suggested that audiences still might be required to wear masks.
“So with all eyes on the future, The Hollywood Theater is beginning to pencil in performances to begin in the Fall,” Harris said.
The second project was the addition of a concrete ramp and ADA access door to the adjacent Saving & Loan Building, Harris explained. Lighting was also upgraded.
The Savings & Loan building allows the Hollywood to expand arts programs beyond the walls of the theater. It is an ideal space for local artisans to display their work and a more intimate space to showcase solo musicians.
With a small scale, well lit green space on the side of the building, solo artists have the opportunity to entertain small groups in an outdoor setting, Harris said.
The space is also being designed to include food service opportunities that will provide additional revenues for The Hollywood and a convenient dining option for its patrons.