Pennington Gap Mayor D.R. Carter walks by the Lee Theater and community center in this Times-News file photo.
PENNINGTON GAP — The town of Pennington Gap is preparing to add more than 150 seats to the historic Lee Theater thanks to a $75,000 grant last week from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
The new seats, which will be installed in the theater's balcony section, will bring the venue's total capacity to 517. The theater currently seats 366 individuals on its main floor.
The installation is expected to be finished by early May, town officials said.
Pennington Gap Councilman Terry Pope said the increased seating capacity will allow the theater to attract national acts in addition to the local and regional groups it currently hosts.
"This will allow us the opportunity to attract acts from a more diverse talent base," Pope said. "We'd like to be able to attract a nationally known name or one that would resonate a little more with those from outside the immediate area and maybe it would bring those individuals to our community."
Pope said the theater has shown so far that it can draw crowds, with six sold-out performances since it reopened in October 2013. The most recent sell-out occurred at Jimmy Rose's March 29 concert.
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