HAGERSTOWN -- Another piece of the puzzle has been laid to revitalize downtown Hagerstown with the opening of the Academy Theater, Banquet and Convention Center at 58 E. Washington St.
On Thursday, co-owners Mike Guessford and Milton Stamper offered a tour of the 30,000-square-foot facility, which once housed the Tusing Warehouse, to about 65 people. Those in attendance split into two groups, taking turns perusing the 208-seat theater on the first floor and a banquet room of equal size upstairs.
Guessford said the Academy is open for business and offers a perfect venue for corporate dinners, class reunions and wedding receptions.
The theater portion will serve as the home of the Potomac Playmakers, a community theater group.
"I think it turned out fantastic," Guessford said. "It reminds you of the off-Broadway theaters."
Stamper said the $1.3 million project took about 18 months to complete and required about 60 employees from 12 local subcontractors. A big part of the funding, or about $558,000, came from state loans, he said. The City of Hagerstown gave a $100,000 advance through the municipal Revolving Loan Fund, and bank loans and private investments paid for the rest.