Dinner theatre fundraiser planned for Ro-Na

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

IRONTON — Artists and musicians hoping to one day perform in front of a packed house at a restored Ro-Na theatre will first have the opportunity to participate in raising money for the historic theatre’s revitalization.

The Ro-Na Steering Committee — a local group of volunteers charged with soliciting donations to fund the theatre’s restoration — is holding an invitation-only, evening dinner theatre fundraiser on Friday, Nov. 13 to benefit the roof restoration of the 60-year-old theater.

The semi-formal gala will have 10 acts from around the Tri-State performing in front of donors while showcasing their talents.

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While an official lineup is still being set, artists expected to perform include comedy, music and even circus acts.

The fundraiser is being held in the Mains Rotunda in the Riffe Center at Ohio University Southern.

The event comes at a pivotal time for the Ro-Na as contractors begin the process of restoring the theatre’s roof and decking.

On Thursday, Ironton City Council is expected to approve a pair of bids for the roofing and decking work while essentially giving the go-ahead to release $129,000 of restricted city monies to pay for a portion of the $187,000 price tag needed for the roof.

The monies will come from an account that is used to make improvements to specific assets not covered by other budgets and does not use tax dollars.

The remaining $58,000 will be offset by contributions and solid pledges the committee has raised to date. Any monies raised from the fundraiser are anticipated to lessen the city’s share of the project.

The city of Ironton is currently the owner of the Ro-Na.

A start date on the roof has still not been determined and could be contingent on discussions the city currently has with neighboring AutoZone who owns a parking lot adjacent to the theatre.

The auto parts store has asked that cranes and dumpsters that had been sitting on the store’s mostly vacant parking lot be removed as the franchise is looking to repave and restore the parking lot.

The city is requesting that the repaving project be delayed until after the roof is complete so heavy equipment can use the parking lot.