Warren developer renovating Robins Theatre - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Warren developer renovating Robins Theatre

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WARREN, Ohio -

After decades of sitting empty, a developer has announced plans to restore and reopen Robins Theatre in downtown Warren.

Memories made inside the historic site date back decades to when the theater opened in the 1920s.

"I thought that this would be something that just would be grand to bring back to the city," said Mark Marvin, president of the Downtown Development Group.

Marvin estimates he'll spend $5 to $7 million on the renovation project.

He hopes to have all of the work completed by the end of 2020 for the theater's 100th anniversary.

It's one of several projects Marvin has brought to the downtown area. 

"For years I've thought the demographics were wrong on Warren," he said. 

Marvin is sinking significant money into the areas within and around Warren's Courthouse Square. 

He turned three floors of the Mahoning Building into luxury living spaces that overlook the city and the Mahoning River. Nova Coffee Company a barber shop and spa along the square will soon be joined by a paint and sip gallery and a new Irish pub style restaurant. The Copper Keg is eyeing an opening date in June of 2018.

"It's not an unsafe place to be. It's not an unsafe place to come downtown and hang out and be around," he said. "I think Christmas on the Square and light the square proved that, with the 5,000 people that came down."

Marvin admits renovating the theater is unlike any of the other projects he's taken on in recent months. 

The goal is to keep it's original look and design intact as much as possible. Marvin says he's like to apply for tax credits for repairing the historic site. 

Robins Theatre can hold up to 1,500 people on the main floor and balcony combined.

The original seats are covered in a thick coat of dust, but will soon be sent off for repair and will be reupholstered, back to their original vibrant crushed velvet red fabric.

The theater is opening up seat sponsorships to the community, which will help pay for them to be restored.

"What we're going to do is we're going to sell a plaque on each seat that will get folks their name on the handle, a certificate, t-shirt and all of that money will be used to refurbish the seats," said Ken Haidaris with Sunrise Entertainment.

Sunrise Entertainment is partnering with Marvin to line up shows and live performances to fill the seats.

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