This is a big week for the 5th Avenue Theater which officially opens back up again Thursday after a summer full of renovations and updates.
The first thing visitors will notice the brand new lobby carpet, replacing carpet that had been trod upon by seven million people.
Finding carpet that replicated the kind originally installed in the 5th Avenue Theatre lobby 90 years ago definitely wasn't easy.
“We had black and white photos of what the carpet looked like,” says Managing Director Bernadine Griffin.
It took Griffin and her staff an entire year to track down a pattern that worked with the lobby's historic Forbidden City decor.
“The new carpet brings to light everything else,” says Griffin. “So you look at the carpet and your eyes travel up and you see colors and images in the ceiling that you've never noticed before.”
It's all part of a recently completed phase one of a $15 million theater renovation.
“This theatre could never be rebuilt today,” says Griffin.
Built in 1926 the 5th Avenue originally served as a venue for film and vaudeville. Restored in 1980, it has earned a national reputation as a testing ground for new musicals.
“Over the past 15 years we've developed seventeen musicals, nine of which have gone on to Broadway, garnering fourteen Tonys,” says Griffin.
The theater was closed all summer for renovations. Two million dollars were spent on a brand new state of the art digital sound system. And on the mezzanine level the ladies bathroom has been upgraded.
It’s all set for Thursday’s premiere of “Man From La Mancha”.