The Maryland Theatre kicked off its fourth season of Wind Down Friday, again welcoming local organizations but adding a new twist this year: an after-show.
Friday’s festivities moved into the lobby of the theater to avoid the rain but guests were able to still enjoy the hard-driving blues of Moondog Medicine Show.
Wind Down is held on Fridays from May through August between 5 and 8 p.m. Admission is a $5 donation to the theater for adults and $2 for children ages 12 and younger.
“We want people to know this is rain or shine,” said Benito Vattelana, president of the theater board of directors.
The Friday event started as a fundraiser for the theater and continues that way today, he said.
All the proceeds from the 2011 Wind Down season will go toward building a new box office in the lobby of the theater.
Looking above his head, Vattelana noted the sign for the box office. It hung in the small hallway-like area of the former McBare building, where the theater also has its bar for selling beverages and snacks.
On a busy night, queues for refreshments and tickets can make it not only difficult to move in the tiny space, but also confusing, he said.
By converting a coatroom in the lobby to a box office, the theater hopes to make purchasing and picking up tickets easier for patrons, he said.
Vattelana said the theater expects it will cost about $10,000 to add the new box office.
Because the coatroom is used by the theater’s many volunteers, Vattelana said the board hopes Wind Down will generate about $12,000 this season and give the theater enough money to not only add a box office, but create a larger space elsewhere for volunteers.
As has been the case in past seasons, Wind Down continued its tradition of partnering with organizations.
On Friday, the American Cancer Society painted the town purple at Wind Down.
Representatives from the cancer society and the upcoming Washington County Relay for Life passed out information, sold luminarias and made a presentation at the event.
“We are getting more and more calls from organizations to make presentations at Wind Down and bring attention to a community causes,” Vattelana said.
In addition to purple ribbons around town, there were purple tablecloths at Wind Down Friday to promote the Relay.
Vattelana said the theater plans to continue welcoming organizations to participate in Wind Down.
It also hopes to build on Wind Down’s success by hosting performances after the event concludes at 8 p.m., he said.
People frequently have asked what they can do in Hagerstown after Wind Down is over, he said.
Vattelana said the theater plans to hold late-evening performances on select Fridays this summer.
On Friday, the Comedy Pigs performed at the theater at 9:30 p.m., he said.