Reynoldsburg News

Sterling Theater to open stage for local performers

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Sterling Theater will be alive with music this summer with a CD release party and the theater's first three open microphone nights.

"We're trying to do some performances of local bands and folks in town," said theater board president Rachael Mattis Bissett.

Bissett said the theater board was contacted by Square Thirteen, a folk trio from Lancaster looking for a place to showcase its first CD.

The board and the band are jointly publicizing the show, with the theater board paying to print tickets.

The band will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, May 17. Tickets are $3, available at the Nutcracker Restaurant on Broad Street and at the door.

Bissett said the open microphone nights were suggested by local musicians. The theater will hold three from 7 to 10 p.m. May 9, June 13 and July 11.

"We're hoping bring in local performers," Bissett said. "There are a couple of bands from Watkins (Memorial) High School interested in playing there and several community members."

Bissett said the board is trying to promote the theater while raising more money to improve it. The theater has no restrooms and no elevator.

"The big thing right now is it's hard to have a function because you have a limited audience without a restroom," she said.

Bissett said the stairs to the second floor, used to access the theater, also limit the audience.

The Sterling Theater is in a two-story brick building at 430 S. Main St. Built in 1916, it initially was used as a municipal building.

It is owned by the city. The Pataskala Division of Police is on the first floor.

Bissett said the theater had fallen into disrepair over the years and in 2010, volunteers raised money to repair it.

"People donated labor and the city did some things, fixed the ceiling, fixed emergency lighting, things that were a public safety issue," Pataskala Mayor Steve Butcher said.

Butcher said the city contributed $10,000 and the community donated another $30,000 to purchase new windows.

Volunteers completed much of the renovations, which also saved on labor costs, he said.

"There were probably about $100,000 worth of improvements on the building," he said.

Bissett said the board continues to raise money to complete renovations, while the city is studying roof repairs.

Pataskala City Council's building and grounds committee is scheduled to talk about the roof repairs at 5:45 p.m. Monday, May 6, at Pataskala City Hall.

The theater board includes: Bissett, Dean Ramsey, vice president; Jennifer Noble, secretary; Dianna Young, treasurer; Connie Klema, immediate past president; Jean Klema; Ann Ramsey; Arlo Dixon; Marcia Busler; J. Scott Smith; Gloria Weber; and Kay Cameron.

Interested donors or volunteers can visit the Sterling Theater's Facebook page.

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