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Committee meets to talk about interior of theater

February 19, 2009

There is much more going into the Orpheum Theater renovation than just construction.

From projectors, to marquee lettering to a chandelier, all were discussed at the latest meeting of the theater's steering committee Wednesday.

The marquee lettering was one of the main topics of the meeting as members still are doing research into whether the original letters will be usable if restored or if they should go with new replica letters.

Article Photos

Nancy Adams displays chandelier options as Dr. Chris Duree looks at his notes during a meeting of the Orpheum Theater renovation steering committee Wednesday at Marshalltown Community College.

Committee member Nancy Adams has looked into getting a chandelier that would be comparable to the one used by the theater when it opened in 1949. She said the cost would range from $2,000 to $3,500 for a 5-foot model.

Project manager and Marshalltown Community College Provost Dr. Chris Duree gave a brief update on the concessions area and said all beverages would be Pepsi products which would keep in line with the college's contract.

One major cost of the project will be purchasing a projector and Duree said there is no money budgeted for projection equipment.

Committee member Dave Engel said the costs of a digital projector would be around $125,000. Duree said he hopes to talk with the local company Mechdyne about projection equipment. Mechdyne has offered free consultation on the project and the willingness to work with their vendors.

Duree also talked with a company that refurbishes seats to possibly save the existing seating. He was advised by a seat restoration professional that the old seats were not of high enough quality to warrant refurbishing and getting all new seating might be the best option.

On the construction side, Duree said talks with Garling Construction indicate the progress is going well. Demolition is wrapping up and interior structural work is starting in the theater.

"I think we are pleased with the project and more or less on schedule," he said.

The goal is to open the theater near the end of this year and possibly to coincide with the late-November Holiday Stroll.


Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or



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