Mauch Chunk Opera House Gets Money for Renovation

JIM THORPE, Pa. -- The Mauch Chunk Opera House in downtown Jim Thorpe has been a staple in the community for many years.

Some of the equipment in the place is starting to show its age, but big changes are on the horizon, as the place just received $169,000 in grant money for upgrades.

"Anytime you can make it better for anyone, it's a win-win. It's a win-win," said Mary Lynn James of Albrightsville.

The grant money came from the Monroe County Local Share Account.

A producer at the Opera House says he applied for the grant last fall.

"Well, at first, I couldn't believe it. I mean when you apply for grants, you hope to get something, even a portion of something. When we got everything we applied for, it was just, I am just so gratified," said Vincent DeGiosio, Mauch Chunk Opera House.

Producers aren't wasting any time at the Opera House. In about two weeks, we are going to start seeing some work done here.

Upgrades include a new sound system, renovations to the bathrooms, and stage curtains.

But the biggest fix will be to the air conditioning.

"Air conditioning is going to be a big undertaking. Hopefully, if all the stars line up, we will have air conditioning for the summer months," said DeGiosio.

The Opera House does have air conditioning, but when it's a packed house, it gets a little warm inside.

Mary Lynn James from Albrightsville agrees.

"You can't really appreciate when a show is going on and you're hot and sweaty and the performers are doing their best and you're like, 'whoa,' but if it's nice and cool, then everyone wins," said James.

Producers say this is one of the biggest grants they have ever received for upgrades to the Mauch Chunk Opera House.

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