Hoover Auditorium Upgrades

Posted on April 30, 2012

Last year, the Lakeside Chautauqua community demonstrated its commitment by giving gifts to enhance Hoover Auditorium. These gifts helped fund the installation of four massive, ceiling fans to cool the auditorium; an upgraded soundboard to enhance the amplification; and a gallery wall display in the lobby to showcase exhibits.

Hoover Fans

In early April, it took two weeks to complete the installation of the four ceiling fans. This was a difficult installation process due to the seating, large electric lift and aging auditorium. Also, each fan had several blades with a wing span of 18 feet.  

The fans were custom made by a company in Kentucky and painted to match the trusses and roof to blend into the ceiling. These silent fans will ensure a more comfortable setting for all who enjoy Hoover performances.


Technology and logistics play critical roles in producing and delivering many memorable performances in Hoover. One of the key components of each Hoover show is sound reinforcement and amplification. Lakeside’s previous soundboard had been purchased “used” more than 15 years ago and was behind current technology standards. For some performances, Lakeside had to rent an additional soundboard and other expensive equipment to meet the technical needs of today’s performers.

During February and March, the community supported the effort to upgrade the soundboard. Venue Technologies' sound engineers have worked with Hoover for many years on special events. The company replaced the old analog soundboard with a digital console. In addition, exposed cables that pull sound from the back of the stage to the soundboard are now covered in a trench underneath the seating.

Gallery Display Walls

As Lakeside strives to meet 21st century guest expectations, we must remedy aesthetic problems to our historic buildings. This past fall, fresh paint was applied to the exterior trim and doors of Hoover Auditorium, giving it new curb appeal. A new roof was also installed on the building. Throughout April and May, new gallery walls will be constructed to emphasize the beauty of art exhibits and showcase the stage.

Prior to the installation of the new gallery wall display, the aesthetic appearance of the lobby did not highlight the beautiful grandeur of the 83-year-old building. As guests entered the front doors, the pegboard walls detracted from the magnificent artwork and photos displayed in the lobby throughout the Chautauqua season.

In mid-April, the pegboard walls were removed. They will be replaced by four gallery walls throughout the lobby, with a new mounting system to hang and display artwork and photos.  Behind the information desk, a four-foot wall will be built to feature clear glass at the top of the wall. This new installation will give patrons an unobstructed view of Hoover’s magnificent proscenium arch and stage.

Several triangle kiosks will also be placed around the open lobby area to display art. Lakesiders Keith Addy and Don Eckert are currently working on refinishing and repairing the lobby information desk.

Stary says, “Staff, contractors and volunteers are all hustling to make sure that every project is complete by the Summer Opening Ceremony.”

With your support, the Lakeside Chautauqua staff was able to make significant improvements to Hoover Auditorium, our historic gem, to truly make it a world-class performing arts venue.