The Children’s Theatre Celebrates Ceremonial Chain-Cutting at the Emery

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) recently held a ceremonial chain-cutting at the Emery Theater. In lieu of a traditional groundbreaking, the chain-cutting marks the start of renovation of the 113-year-old theater.

TCT’s move to the Emery Theater represents a homecoming, since the organization officially operated out of the Emery from 1948-1969. The move will also enable TCT to expand their programming from 40 days a year to a year-round schedule.

“After a long vacancy, the Emery had fallen into some disrepair, but it has good bones,” observes GBBN Principal and Director of Arts, Marcene Kinney. “The biggest challenge for past efforts to revive the Emery was about making the backstage (and wings), which are undersized, work for modern theater; bringing things up to code in terms of accessibility, egress, and so on; and figuring out how to make the circulation spaces work.”

“Fortunately, with a small addition and the right technology, we discovered a way to make it work,” Marcene says.

“We really look at this project as a form of gratitude and stewardship,” says GBBN’s Tyler Zembrodt. “The Emery Theater was passed onto us by a generation that thought to create a beautiful space that would last beyond themselves. We’re not only restoring the space for the present generation, but we’re preserving it for the next 100 years.”

Learn about the design challenges and innovative approach to the restoration in our case study.

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