Pieces of history unearthed during reconstruction of Benson Theatre

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – The Benson Theatre is turning back time to bring an old favorite back to the neighborhood.

“It’s great to be able to look at the old photos and realize that we’re going to be able to restore that as a piece of Benson,” said Michal Simpson, Benson Theatre Program Director.

In the process of deconstructing the nearly century-old building, parts of Benson’s history have been revealed.

The original orchestra pit from 1923 was found after a construction crew discovered it once they lifted the stage up to have that restored.

“The amount of people that have performed in that space during that time period and the films that were shown, bringing that back to life and that orchestra pit, that will be our green room. I think you can really sense the spirit of the space when you’re especially in that orchestra pit,” said Executive Director, Amy Ryan.

It’s that same spirit Ryan said she wants to see throughout the space.

This is where the stage will be once construction is complete sometime next year.

It will be the same exact stage built back in 1923.

“It’s really exciting to be able to go into a space that has some history and think about who was there on those boards before you, what their lives might have been like and the idea that that’s coming back to life in Benson is kind of a dream come true,” says Simpson.

Two diamond-shaped windows were also found in perfect condition wrapped up behind a wall.

Both windows will be restored and added to the outside in the same spot once construction is complete.

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