In the fall of 2009, the Rex was a promising space with a certain gritty charm, but was in desperate need of repairs and improvements. In their first year at the Rex, Grey Area installed new truss, sound, and lighting equipment from top to bottom. A severely needed new roof for the building was also installed upon their arrival, and the lobby was given a full makeover.
In late 2011, Grey Area assumed facility management at the venue, bringing in new staff and bartenders, while improving the drink selection and pricing. The Rex now offers a wide array of craft beers (including local brews from Full Pint and East End) in addition to domestics, wine, and more top-shelf liquors. The lobby now features a new bar built by local woodworkers, flat screen televisions, and rotating works from local artists. Another priority was to restore the former movie theater’s iconic marquee. After consultation with the Pittsburgh Historical Society and months of construction, the newly refurbished facade and marquee were unveiled in the spring of 2012.
While big strides have been made, the Rex Theater is seen by the company as a work in progress. Ongoing improvements include a full-size bar for the auditorium and further renovations to the lobby, which will greatly improve the patron’s experience at all ages shows. Grey Area has a service-based philosophy regarding the concert industry, and strives to provide the ideal show experience for artists, crew, and patrons alike. Constantly improving the facility, operations, and production at the Rex Theater are paramount to that philosophy.
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The 21st and final installment of Remembering Phish Fall Tour 1997 focuses on the show in Albany, New York that took place 20 years ago today.