Duke in Pictures: Seats ‘Fly’ at Page Auditorium

Renovations are underway in performance space


As part of ongoing renovations of the 83-year old auditorium, crews recently set up a 50-feet-long zip line from the balcony of the building to safely transfer wooden seats and their metal bases to the ground level outside.

Crews from Raleigh-based restoration company Red Hill Distributors are using the zip line to easily move the seats from the balcony to a truck, where they’ll be taken to Red Hill’s headquarters for refurbishing before returning to Page.

The balcony seats are original to Page, which was finished in 1931, but were updated in 1987 when new orchestra seats were also installed. In all, 506 seats will take the zip line trip.

Renovations to Page Auditorium began in July and are expected to finish next spring. Work includes updating the house and balcony level seating while maintaining the historical integrity of the space.

In addition to refurbishing hundreds of seats, 138 seats will be permanently removed to allow for a new control room to oversee state-of-the-art light and sound system. There will be 1,100 total seats after renovations.

Other changes include a new lift to provide persons with disabilities access to the stage from the orchestra level seat, a new fire sprinkler system, hot water heating system and more. Below, the frames of seats are seen empty, preparing for a trip down the zip line.

For more information about the project, visit the Facilities Management website.