• April 12, 2021

Revamped Ector offers sneak preview - Odessa American: News

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Revamped Ector offers sneak preview

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  • Downtown Shows Off

    The Ector Theatre is opened for viewing during its media day Wednesday morning in downtown Odessa. City officials have spent approximately $10.8 million on the Ector Theatre renovation. Renovations include state of the art stage lighting, ambient lighting, multiple dressing rooms, asbestos removal, renovated original seats and much more.

Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 1:45 pm

The revamped Ector Theatre was shown off to the media Wednesday, complete with live music and a demonstration of the venue’s state-of-the-art sound and lighting.

Executive Director of Odessa Arts Randy Ham was the emcee and Ector Theatre Executive Director Reece Eoff offered tours and answered questions.

About 30 people attended the event, including city officials and musicians. It is located in the Odessa Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

Ham recalled going to see Star Wars at the Ector as a 5 year old.

“While the hotel’s been open and the conference center’s been open, they’ve been working very hard to reinvent this theater for the 21st century so that our children and our families and the people that we are welcoming into the community can now make their own memories right here in this state-of-the-art facility,” he said.

Eoff said the theater has scheduled its first show featuring comedian Steve Trevino on April 15.

“We’re excited to show this theater off to the public. We’re getting ready to open fully soon. We know it’s been a really hard year ... with the pandemic and everything, but we are starting to book shows ...,” Eoff said.

He added that they have booked live music, as well.

Ham said it will be the site of Hot Summer Nights.

“The city really had the vision for this to work. I think that it’s really a good example of what the downtown revitalization means. We’re really a merger with the cultural historic part of Odessa and also the look into the future. And, as you can see, the same thing we’ve done with the theater, we’re doing with the downtown. We want to keep the historic parts of Odessa. We just want to make that better and the city and ourselves and everybody involved saw that as something that Odessans deserve and we think they absolutely do. ...,” Eoff said.

Ham said tickets for Hot Summer Nights will be available on the Monday before the concerts and can be reserved at odessaarts.org or theector.com.

“We are also bringing back the Dallas Black Dance Theater during Juneteenth in partnership with the Black Cultural Council of Odessa,” Ham said.

That will be free June 18 on the Ector stage, he said.

Humorist David Sedaris returns at 7 p.m. Oct. 28. Tickets are available at odessaarts.org. Ham said they signed a contract this week for a one-act play, Las Nuevas Tamaleras.

Ham said events are being planned for 2022 and 2023.

“We think this is going to be a fantastic partnership for everybody, and most of all, it’s going to benefit the community,” Ham said.

Eoff said he is an audio engineer by trade in Austin and came on board with the Ector project about a year and a half ago.

“... I came back really to give back to Odessa. I know that Odessa has a ton of talent ... but it doesn’t stay in Odessa,” Eoff said. “It goes off to Austin; it goes off to Dallas.”

“I saw it as a big way of giving back to the community and making Odessa the best that it can be,” Eoff added.

He said the city has been working on the theater restoration for about five years.

“We kept all the historic aspects of the theater. ...”

“We found the carpet design in the attic from the original brochure from the ‘50s ... but it’s period correct and it could have been the original carpet.”

“We did a lot of little things like that. We saved 70 percent of the birch wood in the theater that’s all original from the ‘50s, so it survived 70 years. And we have all the original seats. Those are all refurbished. We kept a lot of the soul of the theater and a lot of the color schemes and materials,” Eoff said.

The project cost was $10,810,000.

Monica Tschauner, director of Discover Odessa, said the theater will be great for the community.

“We will promote this to the outlying communities and hope that we can attract outside visitors that will come and take advantage of our entertainment and stay in our hotels and eat in our restaurants and shop ... It’s something great for us to promote for Odessa,” Tschauner said.

Odessa, TX

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