Curtain time at Civic Aud
Always known for its acoustics, the Price landmark now has a new look
The makeover at the Price City Civic Auditorium is now entering the second stage of repairs and upgrades which are intended to bring the historical venue back to the forefront for events taking place in the city.
Since the beginning of the month, the Civic Auditorium has seen workers move in with plenty of tools and a scaffold to reach the top of the ceiling above the stage. The purpose is to install new rails with the support of steel chains to hold up the new curtains that are awaiting to be put in place.
The new curtains, labeled as being the color espresso, will replace the older curtains that have been a staple at the auditorium since 1987.
While the addition of the new curtains will help with the ongoing makeover and the overall look of the auditorium for upcoming performances, the issue of safety was a great need, according to Bret Cammans, Price City customer services director.
"This was a real safety issue," Cammans said as he pointed to the ceiling where workers were replacing some old quarter inch thick ropes that were used for years to hold up the rails for the stage curtains. "We wanted to create a saver environment."
Work on the new support system for the curtain rails should be completed and in place very soon, Cammans said.
The new curtains should help open the stage up more than before, with about 15 percent being more visible than before, according to Cammans.
"It's amazing to see the stage size increase just by getting new curtains," he said.
While the new support for the rails and the new curtains are being installed, one project included within the current phase of improvements has already been completed. A fresh coat of black paint was put on the back wall of the stage. The newly painted wall will not only help the look of a performance from the eyes of an audience member, but it also will negate the need to use curtains to cover the wall's light color.
"The sound can now bounce back out from the wall and not from the curtain that had to be used before," Cammans explained. "And now the light from the stage lighting won't reflect off the black painted wall."
The improvements have alleviated some of the problems performers have seen with the Civic Auditorium when it has been used previously. This is all part of the city's push to bring back more performances of all kinds to a building that holds a lot of history located right in the heart of downtown Price.
"With all of the improvements, the city wants to help emphasize that the focus should be on the performance," Cammans said.
Price City Councilwoman Kathy Hanna-Smith said the project is being funded with the help of restaurant tax funds. The city first explored putting forth a multimillion project, but ultimately determined that the idea would not be feasible. So to find out what could be done to improve the Civic Auditorium, city officials sought out input of the needs of many local performers and groups. After doing so, they created the four-part makeover for the auditorium which will see a total of $200,000 spent, with each stage costing about $50,000.
"We took smaller steps towards getting this entire project finished," Hanna-Smith said.
The Civic Auditorium has been put to use with the new additions of the stage extension by the Eastern Utah Wind Symphony, a performance by country band Due West and a handful of others. Feedback on the work already completed has been positive, Hanna-Smith said.
The Price City Council began to discuss upgrading the Civic Auditorium last year and a long term project was put into the works earlier this year. In the first stage, the city worked on extending the stage, installing new carpeting and a new stair set and handrails were punt into place on both sides of the stage.
In the third stage of the project in 2012-13, the balcony will be restored for use again, a structural assessment, restoration of damaged plaster and more painting will be completed. In the final part of the project in 2013-14, the stage lighting, sound system and fire alarm system will be upgraded.