Typically, Lakeside Chautauqua presents more than 70 live performances each summer in historic Hoover Auditorium, including chart-topping artists, professional dancers, symphony musicians, magicians, comedians and other family entertainment.

Even though we are unable to use Hoover Auditorium this season, we are excited to offer diverse cultural arts performances at Hoover for many Chautauqua seasons to come. When we do return to Hoover, a new grand drape and an enhanced experience for guests and performers awaits us.

Thanks to generous donations from Dwight and Alice King, the Skolnik and Addy families, and Lakesiders in memory of Keith and Gwen Addy, the Hoover grand drape and blackout curtains have been replaced.

The previous red main drape and straight valance were installed in 1997, and at the time, were expected to last 15- 18 years under ideal conditions.

The scalloped ‘festoon’ valances were last replaced in 1973 and have lasted long past their life expectancy.

“The new grand drape is beautiful, and it will have an immediate impact on our operations in Hoover, especially for dance programs and family entertainment,” says Shirley Stary, V.P. of Arts Programming. “I can’t wait for everyone to see it next summer. We are blessed by the donors who sponsored the upgrade.”

Last year, the main drape suffered significant damage due to dry rot of the cotton-based velour fabric, making it unstable for most of the 2019 Chautauqua season. It was also determined that the fireproof properties of the fabric had greatly diminished.

Tiffin Scenic Studios installed the new drape and valances made from new synthetic velour, which is better suited to handle temperature fluctuations in Hoover Auditorium.

The new drape and valances look nearly identical to the old drape, and the fabric meets current standards of fire code.

This will be the fifth grand drape in the history of Hoover Auditorium, which has been designed to adapt to any future renovations to the Hoover stage.

Several black drapery panels covering the windows closest to the projection screens in the theatre were also replaced as part of this project.

We are so grateful to all of the Lakeside families and friends who invested in such an important, beloved space in Lakeside.

Because of your passion, generosity and commitment, this much needed improvement has been made possible.