Renovations could put Macon's Grand Opera House back in the limelight

Bibb Co. renovates Grand Opera House

Macon's Grand Opera House may have said goodbye to the Symphony Orchestra with its final show Saturday night, but it is saying hello to all sorts of renovations.

Gram Slaton, the executive director of the Grand Opera House, says they have to do a few things before the first actor can take the stage.

“We would be buying about a four truck show and could only get about two and a half trucks on the stage,” said Slaton.

Slaton says one of the steps is putting the set in place. It is a process that used to be a challenge.

“For instance -- with Annie -- we weren’t able to get on the Christmas tree, the grand staircase for the finale, the snow effect,” said Slaton

Thanks to more than $1.8 million of SPLOST funds, Slaton says they were able to make renovations, like a larger loading dock.

“Our loading dock is now the size of a 53-foot tractor trailer door and the importance of that is that as they build these set pieces for Broadway shows, they’re building them more as units that will fit inside a tractor trailer in one piece,” said Slaton.

By making this portal bigger, they are able to bring in bigger set pieces, which means more shows can come to the Grand.

Slaton says the funding also made renovations to improve the audience experience, like new seats.

“Most people really appreciated the fact that not only were they a better seat in terms of their quality, but also gave you much more room in terms of leg and seat room,” said Slaton.

But Slaton says all of the changes could impact more than the theatre.

“This is the place that could bring people from Atlanta, bring people from Savannah,” said Slaton.

He says the more shows; the more reasons people will have to come to Macon.

“They’re starting to discover the value that Macon provides,” said Slaton.

He says it is allowing the area’s rich history to take center stage.

Slaton says once they complete phase one, they will begin phase two which includes improvements to the bathrooms and bar areas.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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