Whereas the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected numerous industries, one of many hardest hit has been reside leisure.
With public well being orders mandating venue closures, touring artists staying residence and concertgoers uncomfortable about gathering in crowds once more, live performance venues massive and small have struggled over the previous year-plus to remain afloat — a interval that has seen many shut their doorways for good.
For one mainstay in Winnipeg’s South Osborne neighbourhood, nevertheless, the months and months of pressured closure introduced a possibility to deal with some vital renovations — so when patrons return to the Park Theatre on Oct. 8, they’ll see a remodeled venue.
“It’s going to be so completely different — our capability is nearly doubled,” mentioned Cory Thomas, the Park’s expertise purchaser.
“Earlier than, you walked in, there was the foyer, and there there was a door to get into the venue to see the band. Now it’s only one massive room … 700 individuals. We have been form of outgrowing the outdated capability.
“We have been continuously promoting out reveals and understanding we may have a pair hundred extra tickets on every of these reveals. We by no means may discover that point to shut for 2 to a few months. We have been at all times so busy … after which the pandemic got here alongside.”
Thomas mentioned the renovations have additionally included higher wheelchair accessibility — one thing the venue has been wanting to put in for a while.
103-year-old Park Theatre getting a facelift
Thomas mentioned the century-old Park — which already underwent an entire facelift to its exterior facade a couple of years in the past — took an enormous danger by spending cash on the renos throughout a interval when no cash was coming in, however filling a void within the metropolis as a mid-sized venue is prone to repay.
“It’s going to be for the higher. Now we’re going to be doing all of those greater occasions…. It’s superior,” mentioned Thomas.
“Already we’re getting numerous bookings for the brand new 12 months that we wouldn’t have gotten in any other case.
“Even some bigger promoters that didn’t e book our room an excessive amount of, swiftly I’m listening to from them day-after-day. The Garrick didn’t final the pandemic, so now with the Garrick being gone, it simply made much more sense that we would have liked to fill that void of being that venue at 700 individuals.”
The Park will introduce its new digs to concertgoers on Oct. 8 with one in every of three back-to-back reveals by native punk legends Propagandhi.
“What higher band than Propagandhi must do our first present again on the new Park?”
Coronavirus: Group rallying collectively to save lots of Winnipeg’s Park Theatre
© 2021 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.