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Audiences will sit in style at Rio Theatre

Kirk Mascaro checks out the finished work at the Rio Theatre.

By JOHN SERFUSTINI
Sun Advocate associate editor

Please be seated and turn off your cell phones during this report. After nearly a decade of fund-raising and planning, Helper's Rio Theatre got a new look last week as workers installed 270 new seats.

The old seats, which were recycled ones from Carbon High School's auditorium installed ten years ago, are gone.

The maroon seat fabric is rated for 400,000 "double rubs" - a trade term for sit-downs and stand-ups - according to Richard Heller, president of Balance Rock Hospitality and Gaming of Spring Glen.

They came unassembled as kits from Irwin Seating, a major supplier of equipment for theaters and casinos. Installers from Class 1 Construction of Summit County handled the job from bare floor to finished auditorium.

As the photos demonstrate, that's not a simple process. First, arcs had to be drawn on the floor. Then workers had to measure and precisely drill holes for the bolts that hold the seat posts.

Once the posts were bolted down, the seat backs went in, followed by the folding seats.

Heller said the gently curving pattern not only allows more seats, but adds six inches of extra leg room.

Councilman Kirk Mascaro, who has been involved in the Rio's renovation for years, said the latest addition cost about $50,000. This money was kept in a special fund and amassed over years of fund raising.

The list of donors is prominently displayed in the theatre lobby.

There's more work to be done, and the city will do as funds become available, he said.




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