Medford plans to carry out upgrades to its Chevalier Theatre with the help of new state funding.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded the city a $200,000 grant to support its planned installation of an air conditioning system in the city-owned theater, located on Forest Street in Medford Center.
The remainder of the overall $600,000 project will be funded with $300,000 appropriated by the City Council last December from Medford’s Community Preservation Act revenues, and $100,000 committed by Wynn Resorts, the owner of the new Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett.
“We have seen an unprecedented influx of patrons to our square on the evenings of shows,” Mayor Stephanie M. Burke said in a statement. “Our businesses are thriving, so enabling the theater to operate year-round will continue to support our business community and economic development in the city.”
The first phase of the work, involving the installation of the air conditioning system in the building’s lobby, auditorium, and dressing rooms, will begin this summer. In conjunction with the project, the city this summer plans to use $80,000 in additional CPA funds to repair and restore 19 windows serving the main auditorium space and the upper patron lobby facing Forest Street.
Formerly the auditorium for Medford High School, the 1,856-seat theater was opened by the city in December 2017 following a long-term revitalization effort. Managed by Bill Blumenreich Presents, it has sold more than 170,000 tickets, featuring shows by such musical and comedy acts as the Beach Boys, Darci Lynn, Donny and Marie Osmond, Amy Schumer, and Trevor Noah.
The Gene Mack Gymnasium, located on the lower level of the auditorium building, is now home to the Medford Youth Center operated by the Malden YMCA and the Medford Recreation Department.John Laidler can be reached at email@example.com.