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Playhouse Square unveils new chandelier

James W. Wade III | 5/1/2014, 9:06 a.m.

The Playhouse Square has added something new right at 14th and Euclid Ave. They have just installed a new outdoor chandelier which features 4,200 shimmering crystals, is 20 feet tall and serves as the centerpiece of Playhouse Square’s latest facelift.

This Friday, May 2, it will be officially unveiled in a special ceremony titled “Dazzle the District.” The chandelier is just one of multiple elements within Playhouse Square’s renovation. Among the other additions are four massive namesake arches, new retro signage, multiple digital screens and an outdoor fire pit.

Cleveland’s Playhouse district is the nation’s second-largest performing arts center after Lincoln Center in New York. Now not only can you appreciate plays and concerts at the various halls, you can tour the district and enjoy the sights.

If you are entering from 14th and Prospect, you will see a giant arch that is illuminated along with the new digital screens along Euclid Avenue as well. This is same area where they hung the Jumbotron up on the side of the Wyndam Hotel to give Cleveland the Times Square look.

“We are extremely excited about it because it’s a celebration of Playhouse Square and what we call the neighborhood transformation project, which is comprised of a number of different things that are designed to bring an excitement and light and energy to the district and to draw visitors to downtown Cleveland,” said Autumn Kiser, Playhouse Square ticket sales and marketing vice president.

Years in the planning, the $16 million project boasts numerous attractions that Playhouse Square officials are banking will become iconic symbols of Cleveland similar to that of the Hollywood sign in Los Angles.

In fact, Kiser said the Playhouse Square retro stick sign boasts 9-foot letters that in total is 48 feet high, which is taller than the real Hollywood sign.

As for the “Dazzle the District” celebration, pop act Hot Chelle Rae will perform before the lighting ceremony involving all of the aforementioned enhancements. Also scheduled to take place will be the Taste of Playhouse Square, featuring menu items from Driftwood Catering, Zack Bruell Events and District Restaurant.

Kiser said the hope is the upcoming lighting ceremony attracts people from throughout Northeast Ohio to take in this special affair. Furthermore, the addition of a fire pit at the Star Plaza and a permanent stage mean other events will be coming to the area.

“What we want to look at is how we use the outside spaces to create a reason for people to come downtown and enjoy the neighborhood,” Kiser said. “Whether that takes the place of concerts outside, which we certainly will do, or other parties or events, we want to make this not just a destination for theater. We want to make it a destination for all. So the plan is to continue to keep the area busy year round.”

“Dazzle the District” schedule of Events:

5 p.m. — “Taste of Playhouse Square” on East 14th Street featuring menu items from Driftwood Catering, Zack Bruell Events and District Restaurant and a variety of entertainment on Star Plaza.

8:30 to 9:30 p.m. — Hot Chelle Rae performs on the main stage located on Euclid Avenue.

9:30 p.m. — Lighting ceremony followed by Hot Chelle Rae.