The final phase of a multi-million dollar renovation is underway at Erie’s historic Warner Theatre. Some performances like the Erie Philharmonic are patiently waiting for the final makeover to finish up.
The final phase is underway. Crews are working on the theater with a goal of finishing work in the fall of 2021.
The show must go on, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re building up the back stage area. We’ve put in the orchestra pit, the slab on grade has been poured, the walls are 12 feet high.” said Casey Wells, Executive Director of Erie Events.
The $26 million project at the Warner Theatre will include a new stage and a customized orchestra shell.
Renovations are aiming to accommodate the 21st century with larger shows and upgrade the theater inside and out.
Steve Weiser, Executive Director of the Erie Philharmonic, says the renovations expect to boost the Erie economy.
“Everything you see looking at the orchestra, it’s all going to be upgraded. It’s going to want to make musicians come to Erie and they’re going to want to experience it.” Weiser said.
Once the marquee is up and running, it will be a step back in history at one of Erie’s most historic landmarks.
“Sometime in early fall, It will operate like it did in 1931 and retaining some elements from the original marquee and incorporating other components that will be replicated.” Wells said.
The upgrades will also give performers new dressing rooms, rehearsal space and a new entrance for musicians.
The Erie Philharmonic expects to have its first concert in December, just weeks before the holiday season. The show will be titled “Come Home for the Holidays”
It will give people the chance to finally step inside and enjoy a long-awaited concert.