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Opera House Arts uses downtime to renovate and reinvent itself

Opera House Arts in Stonington is taking this time to renovate its historic building. They've recently opened a new drive-in theatre that features classic movies.

STONINGTON, Maine — Most arts organizations throughout the state have paused their live programming for this year. That pause is actually giving one theatre in Maine the opportunity to upgrade its facility.

"We have not been able to welcome the public into our building since March," said Richards.

So instead in Stonington, board members of Opera Arts House saw a chance to upgrade its facilities.

"What we've tried to do is look at the COVID situation as an opportunity," says Richards.

Opera House Arts in Stonington is taking this time to renovate its historic building. New roof tiles, new sound equipment, a fresh coat of paint, and new technology equipment, will improve the experience once the curtain goes up again.

Credit: NCM

Much of the building’s technology was installed over the past 20 years, especially the theatrical lighting and the soft goods framing the stage. Also, some of the original roofing completed during 1999 is ready for replacement.

To fill the arts and entertainment void, Opera House Arts recently opened up a new drive-in theatre in Stonington that features classic movies every weekend.

"We've been able to pivot, and be innovative, and come up with new ways to deliver our missions, so one of the main ways we are doing that is through drive-in movies," says Peter Richards, the chairman of the transition task force at Opera House Arts.

What a great night for a movie on our giant 20x40 foot screen at the... Stonington ball field. And every week as we get used to this new set up it gets a little better! Don't miss out: order your Concession Packs and Tickets now! https://mailchi.mp/.../drive-inmovies-153...

Bill Anderson is the Chair of the Board of Opera House Arts, tells NEWS CENTER Maine for this year, they've found a new and safe way to present entertainment.

"The most significant addition has been the outdoor movie theatre in the ball field nearby," says Anderson.

"We can serve up to 40 cars per night," says Richards.

Classic movies and all-time favorites are shown at the new drive-in theatre in Stonington every weekend.

Opera House Arts also released a virtual Gala, that celebrates the new changes and showcases OHA's talent, programs, and connection to the community.

“This first-ever virtual gala represents a major change for OHA. Our goal, with the help of loyal supporters from living rooms around the country, will be to propel OHA into the next 20 years of excellence," says Anderson.

Credit: NCM

The mission at Opera House Arts is to use the performing arts to foster and promote excellence in all the ways we perform our lives: Incite Art, Create Community. Something they hope to keep serving its community members for many years to come -- indoors when it's safe to return, outdoors at the drive-in theater, or even video productions to be enjoyed at the comfort of your home.

This weekend Opera House Arts in Stonington presents the musical film Mamma Mia on Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets are 20 dollars per car and you can buy them here on its website.

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