Baton Rouge Theater for the Performing Arts to get $18.1M renovation

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Theater for the Performing Arts will close for over a year while the city completes an $18.1 million renovation.

"The theater will be a beautiful and exciting venue for patrons of all ages to enjoy a wide variety of live entertainment," said Mayor-President Broome. "This adds to our growing, dynamic arts portfolio here in Baton Rouge."

The Performing Arts Theater currently seats roughly 2,000 patrons and is located at the Raising Canes River Center in downtown Baton Rouge. It was originally built in 1977 and little has been done since it was built.

"The upcoming renovations to Baton Rouge's Theater for the Performing Arts represent one of the most significant investments to our city's cultural life we have ever seen," said Timothy Muffitt, Music Director, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. "The enhancements to food and beverage services, cabaret-style seating, new spaces for receptions and special events, and even box seating are outstanding. This renovation is ultimately a game-changer in how we will appreciate live music in our city for generations to come."

The venue hosts approximately 175 events each year. It is the home for the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, The Baton Rouge Ballet, and The Baton Rouge Broadway Series.

According to the Mayor's office, the project will be funded through the issuance of bonds in early 2018, which will be repaid from a combination of local occupancy taxes and state sales taxes dedicated for River Center improvements.

"It's been years in development. We are so excited to finally share these plans with our patrons that will greatly improve the guest services in the theater", said General Manager Michael Day. "The exterior design and lighting will reflect the theme or mood of the shows each night, and the interior will allow our guests to get in and out of their seats with ease."

The design work should be completed the first quarter of next year, with General Contractor bids received in early spring of next year, and construction beginning mid-year. The Theater is expected to re-open sometime late 2019 or very early 2020.

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