PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion in Olde Towne will host its first event in more than two years Saturday, after repairs for a structural deficiency have finally been completed.

The city, in partnership with the pavilion operator IMGoing, is hosting movie screenings at the outdoor waterfront venue each Saturday in October as part of its “Halloween Movie Madness” series.

While attendance is not expected to fill the 6,500-person capacity or even the 1,000-person capacity limit currently mandated by the governor, guests who attend will be able to see the brand new mast, canopy and other improvements that have been made.

“We have done a complete rehaul of this venue,” said LaVoris Pace, Portsmouth’s interim city manager.

Pace said the stage has been completely re-floored and painted, new seats have been installed and new curtains have been ordered.

Additional landscaping around the venue and behind the scene electrical work have also been undertaken.

Events at the pavilion haven’t occurred regularly since the 2017 summer season. In May 2018, engineers discovered a problem with the main support that holds the canopy. Water caused a 10-foot crack in the main mast support.  

City Council spent $4.4 million to complete the repairs. The old mast still remains sitting in the parking lot off WAVY street.

Pace said the city is still going through the process of looking at what insurance is going to pay for. He explained that next week Span Systems, Inc. — the company who designed the canopy system– will be completing the final tensioning.

While they took much longer than anticipated — prompting IMGoing to file suit — Pace believes the venue is now in better shape than it has been in a long time.

“Next year when we open — hopefully — when COVID is gone. You will see a whole new venue with a big grand opening.”

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