The Atlanta-based Fox Theatre Institute has doled out nearly half a million dollars in grants for preservation at some historic Georgia theaters.

Among the 13 recipients is the Grand Opera House in downtown Macon.

The Grand was awarded $23,500 for a "comprehensive historic assets study," according to a Fox Theatre Institute news release.

The study will explore if the Grand's second balcony, a historic 'colored only' seating section, could be expanded, the news release states. The possible expansion would turn the Grand Opera House into an over 1,200-seat venue, according to the news release.

The grant would also help preserve the seating area.

The theater at 651 Mulberry St. opened in 1891. It's unknown when the second balcony was last used.

A view from the second balcony at Macon's Grand Opera House. The balcony was used for 'colored only' seating. It's believed that the theater would crame as many as 1,000 black patrons up there at a time.
Macon's Grand Opera House's second balcony was used for 'colored only' seating. It's believed that the theater would crame as many as 1,000 black patrons up there at a time.
Macon's historic Grand Opera House, 651 Mulberry St.