What are we doing now?
The historic Abbeville Opera House is one hundred and five years old. As a continuing work-in-progress, the turn-of-the-century theatre requires constant maintenance and upkeep. Over the years we have completed a number of renovation projects.
- Most recently, we finished a complete renovation of the backstage dressing rooms - restoring them to their original and beautiful turn-or-the-last-century condition - at a cost of $31,000.
- Another recent renovation, the Balcony Restoration Project – (the plastering, painting, upholstering, renovation, carpeting and remodeling of the balcony area of the auditorium) – at a cost of $30,000 – was completed in May 2003.
- On June 1, 2001, a fundraising project entitled “There’s No Light at the End of Our Tunnel” was completed - resulting in the purchase and installation of a new state-of-the-art lighting system for the theatre. In addition to the installation of the theatrical lighting system, new wiring was installed throughout the theatre and new electrical outlets and connectors were installed - at a cost of $29,000.
- In the year 2000, a $20,000 fund raising campaign entitled “We’re at the End of Our Ropes” was completed – resulting in the purchase and installation of a new rigging system above the 7500 sq. ft. stage. This rigging equipment, used for the movement of scenery, lighting equipment and other production elements is an integral part of the on-stage theatre facility.
- Also that year, during the 21st year of operation for the Summer Theatre Season, a new 25-ton $14,000 air conditioning unit was purchased and installed.
- In 1999, the result of another extended $21,000 fund raising campaign saw the installation of new carpeting in the downstairs auditorium, as well as the reupholstering and refurbishing of the theatre seats.
- In 1990, a major fund raising campaign raised $90,000 and resulted in the construction of a new roof on the building as well as the remodeling of the box office and the installation of an elevator in the lobby – making the Abbeville Opera House handicap accessible for the first time in its one-hundred year history.
We are now in the process of completely renovating and organizing our property storage and costume shop area..
The Abbeville Opera House is run by a volunteer Board of Governors and produces approximately 40 weekends of live theatre each year. In the twelve-month period following the most recent Balcony Restoration Project, the theatre will attract over 17,500 visitors to our community. The summer theatre season is beginning 34th year of operation. Many civic, church and tour groups from throughout the southeast attend performances each year.
With its initial restoration in 1968, the Abbeville Opera House is generally considered to be the catalyst for the revitalization of the entire Abbeville community.