MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It has been years in the making, but the Cloverdale Playhouse is finally ready to open its doors.
The building used to be the Cloverdale Christian Church. But when the congregation left, playhouse directors bought it.
After raising more than $1 million dollars, construction is finished.
"We opened it up and we did retain the wood paneling," says Playhouse Managing Director Emily Flowers referencing the front lobby of the building.
She says when you enter the theater, you see traces of the church still in tact--like the same pews used there years ago.
Now, though, they're arranged a little differently.
"To gain modern theater seating that's more comfortable and visible for everybody, we tiered the seating," she says.
The pews aren't the only remnants of the church. The dressing rooms and prop areas also reflect it.
"You can see we left a lot of the building untouched...just cleaned it up."
Perhaps the newest element, the backstage entrance.
"If you're backstage during a show, about to go on, this would be your route."
It's complete with a view fit for any actor.
"We're standing now in [what used to be] the baptismal with an altar and now you see a theater born again," says Playhouse President Morris Dees.
It was Dees' dream to bring local theater back to Montgomery. He was thrilled to raise the money at a time when he knows the economy is struggling.
"I think people in Montgomery should just come over here and walk though this place. I think it will surprise them."
While the playhouse will be used primarily for plays, leaders and directors say that's not the only thing that'll be happening there.
"Throughout the year we'll feature different artists, different book signings, different special events. The stage is going to be a busy place," says Flowers
But directors can't wait--as a transformation makes way for what they believe will be Cloverdale's new jewel.
For more information and to order season tickets to the Cloverdale Playhouse, visit www.cloverdaleplayhouse.org.