State officials confirm Kentucky Center will reopen for performances September 1

Press Conference July 26 Kim Baker Kentucky Center
Today Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary William M. Landrum III thanked everyone for their focused work on the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts (KCA) building since the June 13 fire and announced that barring any unforeseen issues that may arise, the building will reopen September 1 for performances. 

The KCA building is still an active construction site and will continue to be closed to the general public between shows.

“Today is a great day for KCA and Louisville,” said Sec. Landrum. “My sincere appreciation goes to the great team of staff and contractors who have put in long hours to get the building to the condition it’s in today. The aggressive schedule is paying off in that we are now confident productions can resume at full capacity on September 1.”

“Based on everything we know today, along with the experience and expertise of our staff and contractors, we are confident there are no major structural issues with the barrel vault ceiling,” added Sec. Landrum. “Plaster removal is critical, though, as this will finally allow engineers to conduct a three-dimensional scan on the main I-beams and other supports of the roof super structure.”

The Finance and Administration Cabinet owns the building and is the lead agency working on the restoration project. Media updates and communications to the community will continue as the project moves forward.  

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Deputy Secretary Regina Stivers and KCA President Kim Baker joined Sec. Landrum and provided additional information to patrons and the community.

Restoration progress-to-date includes:

  • Whitney Hall, the Bomhard Theater and the MeX Theater will be ready for shows.
  • All KCA staff are now back in their offices.
  • Major building systems are operating.
  • All ductwork, draperies, seating, and hard surfaces have been cleaned.
  • The elevators are working.
  • The main restrooms construction plans are complete, bids received and construction work scheduled to begin today. Construction should take approximately 3 weeks.
  • Final drawings showing exit paths, and calculations on maximum occupancy were reviewed by the State and Louisville Fire Marshals yesterday and have been approved for full capacity of shows.
  • Removal of the plaster on the barrel vault ceiling in the main lobby began on Monday and is estimated to take two weeks. Crews are working two 10-hour shifts per day to meet that deadline.

Comments from Kim Baker, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts - 

“We are thrilled to reopen our doors and bring performances back to the stages of The Kentucky Center,” said Kim Baker, Kentucky Center President and CEO.  “We look forward to providing unforgettable experiences for our community, and continuing our nonprofit mission to lead and enrich the artistic, educational and economic vitality of the Commonwealth and region.”  

"The Louisville Orchestra, the Louisville Ballet and Kentucky Opera all have performances going on sale on August 1.  PNC Broadway in Louisville’s production of Disney’s “Aladdin” is already on sale, and “A Christmas Story,” is going on sale August 3rd. StageOne Family Theatre reservations for school matinees are currently underway."

"The Kentucky Center will kick off its 35th anniversary season with world-renowned artists like Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon, musical legends Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen, and family favorites like the Louisville Orchestra’s presentation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The Louisville Ballet will have premieres including Romeo and Juliet and Mozart. Other shows include the return of Dance Theatre of Harlem, and PNC Broadway in Louisville bringing the first Louisville performances of HAMILTON to The Kentucky Center."

To learn more about The Kentucky Center’s upcoming season, please visit the Event Calendar.