The Maryland Theatre Association, Inc. is currently constructing a 30,000 square foot expansion which will restore The Theatre to its original footprint prior to the fire which destroyed the front of the building in the early 1970's. The expansion will replace a current outdoor courtyard and will consist of 5 floors total in order to transform The Maryland Theatre, the crown jewel of Hagerstown's A&E District into a Performing Arts Complex. Construction will take place in 3 phases: phase 1: the auditorium will be closed July-September 2018 during alley, utility and new emergency egress work completion. Phase 2: the auditorium will be fully operational with egress via the Middletown Valley Bank Walkway (see signage upon arrival) October 2018-June 2019. Phase 3: the auditorium will be closed July-September 2019 with a ribbon cutting planned for October 2019.
Backstage accessibility will also be enhanced for more notable larger performances and local arts partners. The initiative will offer a multi-functional top floor capable of hosting private seated events such as weddings or business dinners for 275, vendor shows with up to 20 vendor spaces, or a small performance space with audience seating for 300. A rehearsal space which is a replica of the auditorium stage complete with changing facilities will make up the majority of the 3rd floor in order to support educational and local performing arts partners. This space will provide practice space during the 175 days annually when the stage is already occupied, as well as serving as daily classroom space with connectivity to the proposed Washington County Public School System's building adjacent. Five multi-use spaces will be available for rent in the proposed expansion in order to provide The Theatre with sustainable sources of income in order to maintain self-sufficient operations. Gallery and display areas for The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and the Convention and Visitors Bureau will provide area visitors with information.
This project contains support spaces which do not currently exist are being included such as: box office space within The Theatre (current is two doors down), conference room (for up to 25 persons), volunteer space (for existing 50+ volunteers of The Theatre), locker rooms for local dance and school students, bridal suite/star dressing room, VIP viewing area, concessions and merchandise sales areas to support the 1,300 seat Theatre and ADA restrooms. The expansion was listed as catalyst project #2 in the Community’s City Center Plan and it also ties in with a downtown Urban Improvement Plan consisting of projects with the Board of Education, USMH, and local private developers with a focus on the revitalization, increase in foot traffic, visitors, tax base, fostering of jobs in the downtown urban core.
Funding update: The Maryland Theatre Expansion Project is a $15 million project (including design, construction, and furnishings) which is over 94% funded thanks to the generosity of local citizens, business owners, City, County and State Government. Please donate using Paypal below to pledge your support for this essential project which will preserve The historic Maryland Theatre for another century and work towards Downtown Revitalization. For personal service and questions regarding the capital campaign for The Maryland Theatre Expansion, please contact Jessica Green, Executive Director at (301) 790-3500 ext. 102 or JEG@MDTheatre.org