DeSoto Theatre

DeSoto Theatre, Broad Street. (Doug Walker, RN-T)

While considerable work has been done to restore Rome’s historic DeSoto Theatre, the project is far from complete.

The Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation, the fundraising organization, is making plans for its annual fall gala Sept. 20. Before that occurs, Chris Jackson said he hopes the next phase of work on the interior of the building will be complete.

The foundation is planning a full season of events independent of the shows put on by the Rome Little Theatre. A schedule has not been released but Jackson confirmed that The Drifters would be on stage as part of the gala to kick off the season.

The next project involves installation of new carpeting inside the theater.

The stage itself will eventually be redone to restore the 1929 look, Jackson said.

The carpet will have a medallion pattern that will mimic what was in the theater when it initially opened. He’s hoping to have the carpet fully installed before the big gala and Drifters show.

“We’re looking to make it that magic experience, kind of like when you go to the Fox (theater in Atlanta).” Jackson said.

Before the carpet can be installed, channels in the flooring have to be created to run electricity for the aisle lighting and the combination sound-data cables to the audiovisual booth.

Jackson also said special seat nameplates for donors who contributed $500 in the Name-a-Seat campaign should also be installed by the time the gala rolls around. The donations were specifically earmarked for improvements such as the carpeting and other projects.

After the carpeting work is finished, a catering kitchen and new concession area, drawn up by Cevian Design Lab in Rome, will be created.

Jackson said he also expects to announce a number of major partnerships for the foundation in coming weeks.

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