The City of Prince George will invest $ 411,000 in repairs to the Playhouse, but the bill could run into the millions.

The Playhouse was built in the early 1970s and underwent a major renovation in 1996.

The coating that was commonly used at the time later proved problematic, causing water damage.

On December 4, 2020, a violent storm tore off part of this coating.

The current repairs will be temporary and will repair the exterior cladding to protect the building from the elements, as well as upgrade the current rigging system.

A much larger repair is on the table, which could cost the city $ 8.1 million.

In addition to operating costs, a complete repair of the building envelope would cost at least $ 4.5 million, three HVAC units would need to be replaced, which would add $ 580,000 to the bill, adding a new parking lot would add $ 1.5 million, and further repairs and maintenance over the next ten years are estimated at around $ 1 million.

“The problem with any tour company is that it’s only a 300-seat auditorium, so it doesn’t make financial sense for most of the tours that go through here. They need an auditorium with 500 to 800 theaters to charge it, to make it worth it, ”said Judy Russell, former director of the Playhouse.

Russell believes temporary repairs to the Playhouse are needed, but the rest of the funds should be spent on a newer, more modern auditorium.

“It’s time for us to have a great cultural center that can give all the amazing artists the opportunity to be the best they can be for our community,” she adds.

The decision on a more permanent solution for the Playhouse is postponed to a later date.