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Lakeside Heritage Trail
5. Orchestra Hall
122 Second Street
Orchestra Hall 1928
Orchestra Hall 2015
Built in 1928, Orchestra Hall was constructed to meet the growing need for entertainment and meeting space within the Lakeside grounds. Architect Granville E. Scott of Norwalk, Ohio designed the building to follow the mission revival architectural style of Lakeside’s newly erected Administration building (erected in 1921 during Arthur B. Jones’ administration) and the Women’s Home Missionary Society Lodge (Wo-Ho-Mis, also opened in 1928). Common construction features included tinted stucco exterior finishes and tile roofs. Erected at a cost of $40,000, Orchestra Hall featured a 25’ x 12’ stage that was large enough to accommodate plays, concerts and musical performances. The building boasted seating for approximately 500 people, velvet curtains, soft light sconces and cutting edge motion picture equipment.
Orchestra Hall reached capacity at its dedication held on July 4th, 1928 and the building was touted as a “new playhouse for the visitors of Ohio’s Chautauqua.” Two musical numbers by the Lakeside Assembly Orchestra and the showing of the silent film “Old Glory” were offered as part of the dedication ceremony. In the years following its dedication, Orchestra Hall continued to be a popular space for organization meetings, performances and entertainment. Movies were shown in the theater weekly during the summer seasons. In 1930, talking picture equipment was purchased, making Orchestra Hall an even more prominent feature of the Lakeside community.
Since its construction, Orchestra Hall has undergone a number of renovations to keep the historic structure operational. 1986 renovations included the replacement of drapes and shutters, installation of an acoustical ceiling and several chandeliers. The Fire and Ice Project was completed in 1996, adding heat and air conditioning to the building.
Many generous Lakeside families and friends also sponsored the Orchestra Hall Enhancement Project in 2011. Project funds were used to install new projection equipment and a custom-made movie screen. Today, Orchestra Hall continues to offer weekly movies during the summer and the building’s air conditioning makes it the perfect place to escape the summer heat. Religious and educational programs, meetings and special events also are regularly hosted in the building throughout Lakeside’s season.