Thanks to the support of the Mayor and the Commissioners of the joint Macon – Bibb County government, the 2016 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) initiative included a $5 million allocation for much-needed improvements to The Grand, at long last providing sufficient funds for a highly impactful set of remodeling enhancements. By the fall of 2018, The Grand Opera House will feature a greatly expanded lobby with two full bars, restrooms that are modernized and double the size of their predecessors, new theatre seating and historically-correct carpet. A few years further on, Grand staff hopes to bring a portion of the second balcony back into service – the first time it will be a bona fide seating area in over eighty years.
Perhaps the best news of all is that, even well into its thirteenth decade, The Grand has yet to fully realize its potential. The 2017 and 2018 improvement projects will allow The Grand to take advantage of all months of the year, to have volume beyond its theatre chamber that can be used for special events of all kinds, and to even possibly develop spaces in its Mulberry Street-side basement area for classrooms and studios. Eventually bringing part of the second balcony back into service will give The Grand the overall seating capacity needed to bring in even bigger attractions at ticket prices made more affordable by this additional seating inventory. And as the fabulous story of The Grand radiates out into the broader community, it will cement its claim as one of Macon’s oldest and most cherished historical attractions – and one that has avoided becoming a relic stuck in time, but instead continues to stretch and grow as part of a vibrant, living community.