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Friday, December 18, 2009

Gartner Auditorium prepares to reopen

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 10:31 AM

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Though the Cleveland Museum of Art’s recently renovated Gartner Auditoirum doesn’t open to the public until February 28, the museum hosted a media preview yesterday. While construction workers continued to put the finishing touches on the venue, a handful of media representatives walked through the hall as Massoud Saidpour, director of performing arts, music, and film, explained the reasons behind the extensive retooling of the hall. Almost five years ago, trustees voted to redo the place even though it would require the museum take its Viva! & Gala concerts off-site and shift movie screenings to the museum’s lecture hall. During that time, the museum hosted concerts at some 27 venues around town, attracting some 62,000 patrons while the film series continued unabated in the museum's lecture hall. Because of what Saidpour described as “acoustic issues,” the Gartner had to be retrofitted so that it could host a wider variety of programs. As a result, the interior walls were fitted with a concealed curtain system that can be electronically controlled to dampen the sound. “Visually opaque and acoustically transparent,” the new walls and ceiling now make the space perfect for everything from spoken word to dance and modern music. A new surround sound system has also been installed for films and the stage floor has been replaced with one suited to dance performances. The seats are all brand new and an advanced lighting system has been installed. The Gartner reopens with a Viva! & Gala concert by Berlin’s Max Raabe and his Palaste Orchestra and, between March 12 and April 30, will host free performances as part of its “Opening Nights Festival." The Gartner's new movie screen and surround sound system with an early April showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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