This year marks the Fine Arts Center (FAC)’s 40th anniversary. Over the past forty years, the venue has hosted countless productions, and hundreds of thousands of backsides have occupied the seats in the main theatre space.
Naturally, then, the veteran seats find themselves in a state of disrepair.
The 1,175 seats in the FAC’s main theatre are original to the building.
“The seats have become an increasing danger to our patrons because they have begun breaking without apparent reason during performances,” Michael Ranscht, FAC director, said.
To address this problem, every seat in the main theatre will be replaced. After spending some time reviewing possible replacement seat options, the new seats have been ordered.
“We hope to gain safety for our patrons, more comfortable seating, compliance with the American with Disabilities Act, and an improved aesthetic in the space,” Ranscht stated.
What will happen to the old seats, you may wonder? They will be collected and repurposed by a company based out of the Twin Cities, but they will not be coming back.
Funds for the new seats were raised by a $1 increase in ticket prices, not through an increase in student tuition.
The seats will be replaced over the summer, so the new seats will be here when students come back next fall and attend their first speaker or show.