It all began eight years ago when two local businessmen noticed the large, vacant Poli Palace Theater in Federal Square. Seeing great potential in what others may have deemed a useless building, Ed Madaus and Paul Demoga founded the Worcester Center for the Performing Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the old building and bringing culture to the city. "Worcester is the largest city in the country where there is no theater where you could put on a Broadway show," says Troy Siebels, president and CEO of the WCPA. "When the building is complete, it will be one of the grandest buildings in New England."
The project, which cost almost $31 million, has been supported by several private and government contributions. The inside of the theater features several historical attributes, including a proscenium, grand chandeliers, a terra cotta faŤade and a second floor mezzanine. Builders also installed new elevators, a glass pavilion and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. Complete with a balcony, detailed plasterwork and boxed seating, the theater represents the perfect union between historical beauty and modern amenity. "The venue is incredibly ornate," says Siebels. "I think people are going to be surprised by what they see."