Old theater site in Village gets makeover into event center
by By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Banner Staff Writer
Sep 15, 2013 | 2518 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Venue Creekside
Banner photo, CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
ADAM LOWE, owner of local audiovisual company Stage AVL, stands in front of the building adjacent to the Village Green Town Center that is being renovated to become The Venue Creekside. The space, which is perhaps best known as having been a movie theater in the past, will be able to be rented out for a wide variety of events, including conferences, banquets, wedding receptions and performing arts events, he said.
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The building adjacent to the Village Green Town Center that is perhaps best known for once housing a movie theater has been in the process of getting a makeover to become usable space after being largely vacant since a community theatre group that utilized the space disbanded in 2010.

The space will be renamed The Venue Creekside, and the new occupant’s owner has said that the space will be able have a variety of events take place there — from events like banquets and conferences to concerts and plays.

Adam Lowe, owner of a local audiovisual company called Stage AVL that has signed a long-term lease to use the old event space, said the new venue is set to be open as soon as this October once renovations are completed.

“There’s been a pretty big need for a space like this,” Lowe said. “We see it as filling a void.”

He said anyone wanting to plan a community event has been limited to using space at a church, school or the Museum Center at Five Points, so he and his business partners saw an opportunity to open a space that could be used just for holding events.

Work on the venue started about a week ago and will continue into October, Lowe said.

“It wasn’t in bad shape,” he said. “It was getting some use – just not the best use.”

Lowe said that, to his knowledge, the building had as of late been used as storage space for businesses located in the main part of the Village Green Town Center.

Much of the work that has been done so far has been things like cleaning and painting. Other changes in progress include “blacking out” the industrial metal ceiling of the old theater space, installing new hardwood flooring and adding effect lighting and audiovisual equipment.

David May III of 3-D Construction, which has been hired to do the renovations, said he and his team were to be part of the project.

“We are excited about restoring such an exciting piece of Cleveland’s history,” May said.

In addition to adding new things, Lowe said his company was being careful to preserve the feel of the old movie theater’s space. The backlit sign frames that once held movie posters will remain in the same place, and the theater’s old ticket counter area will remain in some form.

Though he said he did not know the final total of what renovations to the space would cost, Lowe estimated that it would be about $100,000. “A big chunk” of that cost will go toward installing electronic equipment, he added.

Lowe said things like large screens would be put in place so that companies that want to have large scale video-based trainings can use the space. A bride and groom could also have their first dance under a spotlight as they have their wedding reception in the venue. Other special lighting effects could be used for events like concerts and community theater plays.

“If you want to be under the sea, we can do that with one click of an iPad,” Lowe said.

A movable stage will also allow people to use the space however they choose, whether they want a banquet style event with no stage or an event focused on what happens onstage.

The venue’s occupancy will likely still be 299 people, as it was when it was a movie theater, Lowe said.

Concerts sponsored by Stage AVL’s parent company, GravelRoad Entertainment, are set to happen at the venue quarterly, but Lowe said it would be open for other events the rest of the time.

Lowe said his company had been considering opening an event venue in Cleveland for some time and that he was glad to be contributing to the “spirit of growth” in and around downtown Cleveland.

He estimated that the space will be available for walk-throughs for anyone considering holding an event in a new space starting at the end of this month. For more information, call Stage AVL at 473-9668.