CET to air behind-the-scenes look at Music Hall renovation

Photo by Matthew Zory

CET set out more than a year ago to capture the magic – and the nitty-gritty – of the transformation of Music Hall.

The resulting documentary, “Cincinnati Music Hall: The Next Movement” premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. and will be re-broadcast on CET through November, including 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 19 and and 9 p.m. Nov. 29 on CET Arts.

“It was a remarkable opportunity to look inside a major historical renovation. Not many people get to see that. It’s like a military campaign. Disparate groups with clear responsibilities and a tough timeline. Our goal is to share that inside view with the public,” said documentary co-producer Richard Wonderling.

The documentary starts rolling even before the doors of Music Hall closed for construction in June 2016. Since then, Wonderling, co-producer Don Hancock and other members of the CET team were on site almost weekly to capture the renovations from beginning to end.

“Working on a project like this really is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Hancock said. “It’s awesome to know that we really are a part of a select few who have been able to witness the transformation in its entirety.”

Although there are plenty of construction shots in the documentary – spreading concrete, grinding metal, installing seats – the resulting work is also about the importance of Music Hall, the role the building has played in Cincinnati’s story and the special place in holds in the hearts of generations of Cincinnatians, including the documentary producers.

“Don and I needed a beauty shot of the grand chandelier in Springer Auditorium. We went up to the gallery and it was so silent – there was no one else in the house. It was almost spiritual. Just this pervading sense of beauty and tradition that stretched across time – across generations. Magnificent things happen at Music Hall, you just felt that. Vividly,” Wonderling said.

Major support for “Cincinnati Music Hall: The Next Movement” was made possible by The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall, with additional support from The Wohlgemuth Herschede Foundation; The Robert Gould Foundation; John Hauck Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, John W. Hauck, E. Ellen Elliott, and Narley L. Haley, Co-Trustees; George L. & Anne P. Heldman Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation; The George and Margaret McLane Foundation; Ladislas & Vilma Segoe Family Foundation and Rosemary H. & Frank Bloom; Friedlander Family Fund and Marjorie Motch; Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff + Goettel; and Gary and Dee Dee West.

Air dates, behind-the-scenes photos, trailers: cetconnect.org/musichall

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