Theater District Set to Reveal Final Grand Lobby to be Restored

by | Feb 25, 2016 | Arts & Culture

What the lobby will look like in May when the ribbon is cut. Photo courtesy of Playhouse Square.

Monday, February 22 – About 40 recent transplants, who relocated to Cleveland with the help of Executive Arrangements, were treated to a sneak peak inside Playhouse Square, the nation’s second largest performing arts center (only Lincoln Park in NYC is larger). We were there to see the work underway to recreate the lobby of the Ohio Theater, the last of the five grand theaters (others are State, Connor Palace, Allen and Hanna) to be returned to its former glory. A fire in the 1960’s destroyed the lobby; and when Playhouse assumed ownership in the 1980’s, the lobby was given a cosmetic makeover, but they never tried to recreate the original splendor of this lobby…until now.
How many times have you heard someone say, “You could never build that today, it would cost a fortune!,” when they are describing architecture with old world craftsmanship…and yet Playhouse Square thinks it’s important enough to do it, and do it right.
After an exhaustive search, architect Thomas Lamb’s original drawings were discovered, and Playhouse Square then hired Evergreene Architectural Arts (world famous for this kind of detail work) to begin work on this space, which will be revealed to the public in mid-May.
cocktails 2

Recent transplants to Cleveland learn about Playhouse Square.

And, as part of our first year acclimation program that works to provide on-going education and connections to newcomers, we invited the clients who had relocated through Executive Arrangements in the past 18 months to accompany our team on this tour of the beautiful theaters. Those who were able to join us had recently relocated from:

  • Sarasota, FL
  • Seattle, WA
  • Arlington, VA
  • Westchester County, NY
  • a suburb of Paris, France
  • Washington, DC
  • Columbus, OH
  • West Hartford, CT
  • Auburn Hills, MI
  • New Brighton, MN

Tom Einhouse, who has overseen the construction project for Playhouse Square, shows a photo of the Ohio Lobby from the 1920's.

Tom Einhouse, who has overseen the construction project for Playhouse Square, shows a photo of the Ohio Lobby from the 1920’s.

They were recruited to NE Ohio to take executive level positions at:

  • Myers Industries
  • MetroHealth Medical Center
  • Ernst & Young
  • KeyBank
  • Tarkett
  • University Hospitals
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
  • PolyOne Corp
  • The Westfield Group
  • The Cleveland Clinic

Art Falco, CEO Playhouse Square

Art Falco, CEO Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square CEO Art Falco welcomed the group and shared that Playhouse Square has the largest subscriber base in the country (more than 31,000 and counting). Larger than the number of season ticket holders for the Broadway Series in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco, and our region is a fraction their size. The demand for the high caliber shows they bring in each year continues to grow so they are adding a third week to each run of the seven Broadway shows and are one of only a handful of US cities that can claim that.
Michelle Stewart, Vice President of Development, shared all the ways that a newcomer could take advantage of the theater district including becoming a donor, which insures seating in the first 20 rows of the theater (Dress Circle), and becoming a member of the YP support group, Playhouse Square Partners, which hosts happy hours, educational outings and the infamous annual Jump Back Ball and Leading Ladies (begun in 2015 to provide an outlet for women who wanted to be more involved and educated about the the theater district but weren’t necessarily interested in planning benefit gala parties). Leading Ladies gathers four times a year for “behind the curtain events.” Then, of course, there are the volunteer Red Coats (1,400 strong) who not only greet a million visitors a year and guide them to them to their seats for the 1,200 curtains a year the district offers but also are responsible for so many tasks that it would take more than 200 full time employees to do their jobs. One subset of the Red Coats is called the Bright Spots, and they are responsible for cleaning all of the crystal chandeliers in the theaters every year (I’m tired just thinking about it!).
Above Michelle Stewart's head you can see just a glimpse of completed detail work.

Above Michelle Stewart’s head you can see just a glimpse of completed detail work.

To learn more about how Executive Arrangements can help your company’s recruits and transferring employees become educated about NE Ohio, then quickly acclimated and connected, call us at 216.231.9311. It’s all about retention of employees!