In 1926, the Manos family opened the Palace Theatre in Greensburg. The family of candy makers took an interest in theater following the rise of vaudeville in the 1920s. Now, the Palace Theatre is operated by the Westmoreland Cultural Trust, which works to maintain its legacy. Palace Theatre director of operations, programing, and marketing Teresa Baughman says so far, they've invested 10 million dollars in renovations.
"From the beginning, it was an initial phase of let's fix up plumbing and electrical work to make it functional and safer," says Baughman. "Then we started adding things in like upgraded technology for lighting and sound systems to get bigger shows."
Baughman says will increased updates came increased venue bookings. In the 1990s, the Palace Theatre held 30 to 40 shows. This past year, they held 113 and more than 70 of them were national touring shows.
The majority of renovations are cosmetic, according to Baughman. The Greensburg community supports the theater with both their patronage and their monetary contributions.
"It's become such a part of the community that we get support from not only businesses, but individuals, in supporting these initiatives to help maintain it."
The community is also involved through performance. Many of the shows are put on by local companies. Baughman says that the theater's presence remains as an important source of art and culture.
"It really pulls at the heart strings of some people that appreciate culture and live entertainment that see what this venue's continuation has meant to the Greensburg and greater Westmoreland County area."
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