Orpheum upgrades come to fruition

If you catch a show at Galesburg’s historic Orpheum Theatre this year, you may notice some changes.

In June, officials at the 100-year-old theatre announced a capital campaign with a goal of $850,000. Donors ended up giving just under $920,000 — something Orpheum Executive Director Kevin Maynard says was “incredibly humbling.”

Now, those funds are being put to use. A large sum of the money went toward a new $220,000 light board, sound and video system that has been installed. A technicians booth was also built to help operate the system. 

Maynard tells WGIL the speaker set up covers 95 percent of the theatre with extremely clear sound.

“It hits everything we need it to hit, except for underneath the mezzanine and then underneath the mezzanine we’ve got a couple of little fill speakers that basically the high end kind of sprinkles down on top of you,” Maynard says. “It sounds great. When they came in and they did the speaker system, really, I think the coolest part was that after it’s all tuned to the room, the difference from any seat in the house is .9 decibels.”

There are plenty of other upgrades coming, as well. New stage drapes will be installed in two to three months and a new HVAC system, carpeting, roof and fire safety items will go in in the spring.

Maynard says because donors gave so much in excess to preserve the theatre for the next 100 years, an endowment has been set up. 

A yearly percentage from that will be used for general operating costs.

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