LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLF) — The more than 80-year-old Lafayette Theater is getting even more updates.
The Lafayette icon has undergone a lot of changes in the last year and a half, and those updates are making a difference for business.
"It's going to be a long process to get a 1938 theater up to the standards that we expect now," Lafayette Theater Executive Director John Hughey.
The Lafayette Theater has come a long way.
"The biggest thing people notice when they come in are the walls," said Hughey. "So, the walls are now kind of a neutral which sets a theatrical backdrop of neutral and we use all of the lights to kind of set the mood."
Work didn't stop there.
"We did a lot of painting and cleaning and we still are currently assessing all those needs and putting a priority towards what needs addressed next," Hughey added.
Despite the pandemic, the theater's open concept made it stand out in a time when a lot of venues were hurting for business.
"People were looking for spaces where they could socially distance, and so we were a natural opportunity for them," he explained.
That includes the Greater Lafayette Commerce.
"T hey've kind of brightened up the event space and it's made it a little more event friendly," said Greater Lafayette Commerce Director of Operations Kim Murray.
Now there's a new use for the theater.
"Previously GLC didn't have events here, other businesses didn't come in and have daytime events," Hughey said. "So, that's something we really worked toward."
However, there's still work to be done. Upgrades are planned for the sound system, lighting, and acoustics. It's all so a variety of events can take place there.
"We'll be booking bands," he said. "We'll be having daytime events, educational opportunities as well. So, we want to have events in here for youth as well."
Local focus groups are also being done to see what other things can be added to keep the Lafayette Theater going for decades to come.
"There's a lot of opportunity there for us to really improve and meet the needs of what people expect nowadays," said Hughey.
The Lafayette Theater has also started a new booking partnership with Honeywell Arts & Entertainment.