Cincinnati Landmark Productions Envisions New Performing Arts Venue Overlooking City
This Monday, at a meeting of the East Price Hill Improvement Association, representatives from Cincinnati Landmark Productions expect to present a proposal for building a new performing arts center in the Incline District in East Price Hill.
Cincinnati Landmark Productions (CLP) is the non-profit owner and operator of the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts in West Price Hill as well as the producing company and nautical caretaker of the Showboat Majestic downtown.
The new proposed theater would seat around 250 and be programmed year-round by Cincinnati Landmark Productions to create an estimated 112 “show nights” in the new space, including a subscription season designed to complement the season at the Covedale Center, a short “summer fare” season and one-night concerts, comedy events and cabarets.
CLP officials said the recent 10-year anniversary of the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts prompted discussions about ways to grow the organization over the next 10 years. With the Covedale Center’s production schedule already at its limits and with the Showboat Majestic being a summer-only venue, the only avenue for meaningful growth was to investigate the feasibility of a new venue.
Representatives from CLP met with developers and neighborhood leaders around the region to discuss its goals and to look for good fits. But it was the meeting with a development group from East Price Hill that owned a vacant parcel on Matson Place that quickly rose to the top.
“The Incline District is a neighborhood on the rise,” said CLP Executive Artistic Director Tim Perrino. “It’s exactly the place a growing arts organization wants to be.”
Perrino said after initial discussions, both CLP and the developers viewed the partnership as a win-win. The land and its ideal location next to plentiful parking, dining options and a gorgeous view would make for a great regional draw.
“The people we’ve talked to see the true value an arts center can bring to a neighborhood,” Perrino said. “The arts create neighborhood vibrancy, more pedestrians, good news stories, visitors from outside the neighborhood, more bar and restaurant patrons, and improved neighborhood perception.”
CLP has seen first-hand the impact the Covedale Center has made in West Price Hill. Since opening in 2002, the arts center quadrupled its subscribers from 804 the first year to over 3,600 for the upcoming season. Attendance ballooned from 13,990 in the 2002-03 season to over 35,300 (representing 309 zip codes) in the 2011-12 season.
Additionally, small business owners in the Glenway Avenue neighborhood business district (where the Covedale Center resides) say they have invested more than $500,000 in their properties since the arts center opened. Restaurant owners cite a 15-20 percent increase in business on Covedale Center show nights, and local safety officials credit theater-going crowds with pushing crime away from the area.
“We’re excited to present the idea to the community,” Perrino said. “It’s a neighborhood I care about deeply. As East Price Hill grows and thrives, it would be the perfect place for Cincinnati Landmark Productions to do the same.”