Historic Hippodrome-Colony Theatre Renamed Peoples Bank Theatre

Feb 27, 2013, 11:53 ET from Peoples Bancorp

MARIETTA, Ohio, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hippodrome-Colony Historical Theatre Association ("Association") and Peoples Bank, National Association ("Peoples Bank") announced today it will rename the Colony Theatre the Peoples Bank Theatre in recognition of a generous $250,000 donation by the bank.

The donation is the largest corporate gift given to the theatre. The funds will be used to help sustain the theatre and will play a role in accelerating the restoration construction timeline.

"We are excited and pleased to have Peoples Bank come in with such a generous gift," said Hunt Brawley, Hippodrome-Colony Historical Theatre Association director of development.  "Our partnership reaches back to the very first production at the theatre in 1919 when the bank served as the lead sponsor.  It is very fitting that the theatre will carry its name."

"Supporting the arts and culture in this region is a commitment Peoples Bank made more than a century ago," said Chuck Sulerzyski, Peoples Bank President and CEO.  "Today we've renewed that commitment and believe being part of the preservation and restoration of this venue will make a lasting impact for generations to come.  The community's vision for the theatre truly inspires us.  We hope this will inspire others to work together and build success in other ways."

Brawley indicated the bank's donation, coupled with other loans, and the pending issuance of new market tax credits in April, should allow the theatre to begin construction in June.  He estimates the construction will take approximately 10 months to complete.

Built in 1919, the historic theatre has served as a landmark for culture and entertainment in downtown Marietta.  Since 2000, the Association has conducted a $7.4 million fund raising campaign to restore the facility to its former glory.  When completed, the theatre will be a unique venue in a 10-12 county radius.  Larger, national performances, such as Broadway plays or well-known musicians and comedians, will once again grace the stage in a state-of-the-art 1,000 seat theater.

In its prime, the theatre's stage was graced by some of America's most famous entertainers, politicians and other celebrities.  Guests included Boris Karloff, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Dick Van Patten, Tex Ritter, Minnie Pearl, Kitty Wells, Ernest Tubb, Randy Travis and many more.

"The theatre has changed locations, appearances, and even names over the years.  One thing that has remained constant are the people who love it and wish to see it flourish," said Brawley.  "Once construction is completed our goal is to provide 110 days of entertainment and activities annually.  Our plan is to provide programming that ranges from regional performances to national acts, like country star Brad Paisley or comedian Dave Chappelle."

About Hippodrome-Colony Historical Theatre Association

The HIPPODROME/COLONY HISTORICAL THEATRE ASSOCIATION is endeavoring to restore the former Colony Theatre (re-named Peoples Bank Theatre) to its former glory.  Following the lead of other communities throughout the country, this group's goal is to secure the funding necessary to renovate and reopen this local landmark.

About Peoples Bancorp Inc.

Peoples Bancorp Inc. is a diversified financial products and services company with $1.9 billion in assets, 47 locations and 44 ATMs in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.  Peoples makes available a complete line of banking, investment, insurance, and trust solutions through its subsidiaries – Peoples Bank, National Association and Peoples Insurance Agency, LLC. Peoples' common shares are traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market® under the symbol "PEBO", and Peoples is a member of the Russell 3000 index of US publicly traded companies. Learn more about Peoples at www.peoplesbancorp.com.

SOURCE Peoples Bancorp