Philadelphia’s Academy of Music to update electrical works, replace 1990s-era seats

Posted on: July 17, 2018

Almost every summer, the Academy of Music, Philadelphia’s “glittery, 161-year-old home to ballet, Broadway, and opera goes dark for a few weeks for restoration work,” writes Peter Dobrin in Thursday’s (7/12) Philadelphia Inquirer. “This summer and next … a new cooling tower will be hoisted into place … and electrical innards that date from between 60 and 90 years ago will be replaced…. All of the seats in the theater are being replaced or refurbished—about 60 percent this summer, 40 percent next—to make them more comfortable…. The old ones were installed in the mid-1990s and had become lumpy, Kimmel officials said. The new models are of a slightly larger width—18 to 22 inches, as opposed to 16¾ to 20 inches—but will use velvet of the same deep-red color as the old ones. Patrons will have a bit more leg room…. Spots for wheelchairs will be increased to 21 from 16…. The Kimmel had considered installing cup holders as part of the new-seating project…. After much discussion, that aspect of the new seat design was nixed. Cup holders would have cost more money … and … Opera Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Ballet … don’t allow drinks in performances.”

Posted July 17, 2018