Thalia Mara Hall getting much needed makeover - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Thalia Mara Hall getting much needed makeover

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Thalia Mara Hall is long overdue for a facelift. Thanks to public and private sector working together it's finally happening.

The city theater will be closed for the next four months as renovations bring it into the 21st century.

Minutes after the James Brown film crew wrapped up scenes at Thalia Mara Hall Monday, workers began dismantling the seats that held fans who've witnessed nearly five decades of world class entertainment in downtown Jackson.

For the first time since the curtain rose on this stage in April of 1965 major renovations are underway to transform it into a new millennium venue.

"We're looking to bring this theater up to snuff so that it can compete with anyone," said stage manager Jill Lucas.

She was there when the doors opened at the then Jackson Municipal Auditorium and has eagerly awaited the makeover.

"This hall is an all purpose hall," said Lucas. "It's not just a concert hall. It's the symphony. It's Broadway. It's rock and roll. It's country. It's a little rap, a little this a little that."

The 2,200 existing seats will be replaced with 2,007 wider, waterproof updated versions.

Also there will be more handicap accessible seating closer to the stage, new carpeting, and wider and additional, concourses.

Improvements will also be made to the restrooms and stage equipment.

"We are also doing fundraising throughout the renovation," said Kelly Scriverner with the Friends of Thalia Mara Hall. "Part of that will be that we are selling plaques that can be placed on the back of these seats in honor or in memory of someone. Everyone will be in awe of how beautiful the facility is and very proud to welcome people from around the world to our city."

Local vendors provided the plush seating. The 48 year old versions and other items will be recycled.

Work will be completed on the upgraded performance center by mid May, in time for the grand unveiling at the opening of the International Ballet Competition in June.

To find out how you can help with private fundraising efforts, go to the Friends of Thalia Mara Hall website

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