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Published: Saturday, 8/17/2013

Gifts to the Valentine result in outdoor upgrades

Andy Colter, member of Cement Masons & Plasterers Local # 886, builds an outdoor stage at the Valentine Theatre, a gift from Key Bank. Andy Colter, member of Cement Masons & Plasterers Local # 886, builds an outdoor stage at the Valentine Theatre, a gift from Key Bank.

A much-loved community jewel such as the Valentine Theatre in downtown Toledo requires constant improvement.

That explains the new digital sign board at the corner of North Superior and Adams streets and a new concrete outdoor stage in front of the theater.

Both are recent gifts from local corporations: The sign installed last week is from Block Communications Inc., parent company of The Blade, and the outdoor stage is from KeyBank.

“We’re always looking at ways to improve an already beautiful facade,” theater spokesman Matt Lentz said.

“So we have received two generous gifts in just the past few weeks. The Valentine is very appreciative.”

Each image area on the sign board is 5-feet-by-8-feet. One digital screen faces North Superior and the other faces Adams. The sign is valued at $22,000, Mr. Lentz said. It replaces a sign that burned out a year ago.

The stage is adjacent to the wall at Georgio’s Cafe International and is to the right of the large outdoor sculpture.

The 24-foot-by-24-foot stage rises six inches from the ground in the front. At the rear it is two-feet high to allow for sitting when not in use by performers.

“It’s another entertainment area to use for theater and performing arts organizations that use the theater as well,” Mr. Lentz said.

The Valentine “V” will be in the the center of the stage. There also will be KeyBank signage, he said.

“The KeyBank Stage is the next logical step in our support for the Valentine,” said Brian Brown, senior vice president and leader of Key Private Bank. “We see the Valentine as an anchor in downtown for entertainment and arts programming, and the outdoor stage is the next evolutionary step.”

The first time the outdoor plaza will be used is for the opening of the theater’s 15th season since its major renovation. Festivities for the Season of the Arts Plaza party on Sept. 6 are set to begin at 5 p.m., with free indoor and outdoor performances by the city’s notable performing organizations, such as the opera, ballets, theater groups, jazz orchestra, symphony, school for the arts, and the Masterworks Chorale.

Contact Rose Russell at rrussell@theblade.com or 419-724-6178,

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