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Dowd Center Theatre, Monroe's renovated downtown theatre, opens for first event

Bluegrass musician Sierra Hull will take center stage at the theatre in the venue's first open-to-the-public event.

MONROE, N.C. — Monroe newly renovated Dowd Center Theatre will open its doors Friday for the city's first open-to-the-public, ticketed event.

Bluegrass musician Sierra Hull will take center stage at the theatre starting at 8 p.m.

Over the past few months, the 71-year-old venue went through a $7 million renovation with help from the city, county, and private donations. It seats 560 people and can be used for movies, plays, and even small concerts.

The opening of the renovated theater was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The theater's renovation is part of a city innovative to attract more visitors and business to its historic, downtown district.

“City of Monroe and Union County doesn’t have anything like this," City of Monroe tourism director Pete Hovanec told WCNC Charlotte during a tour of the theater in March. "One of the things we wanted to do is provide this cultural amenity for our residents."

RELATED: Monroe city leaders hope these two attractions will bring in more visitors

City leaders are hopeful the development of the Dowd Center Theatre, as well as the new Monroe Science Center, will bring new visitors to the city.

An opening of the science center was still not known as of Friday. 

Tickets for Sierra Hull's show at the Dowd Center Theatre can purchase tickets online.

The theatre will be returning to movie programming like it did when it originally opened back in 1940. It’ll also serve as a performing arts hall.

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