Eight years after floods, the new Hancher Auditorium will open t - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eight years after floods, the new Hancher Auditorium will open this fall

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A piece of Iowa City history -- restored after destruction.

"It's exciting to be here," said Chuck Swanson, standing in the brand new Hancher Auditorium. 

Swanson, the auditorium's executive director, remembers the 2008 floods well.

"Almost 8 years to the day, our original Hancher had padlocks put on the doors," he said.

It never reopened.

But this fall, a new 1,800 seat theater will replace it.

"We are going to have, I would say, one of the finest performing arts centers in the country," Swanson said.

The auditorium is still under construction, but when the stage opens September 24th, the performers will give the audience a show they won't soon forget.

"Steve Martin and Martin Short sold out pretty quickly," said Swanson.

The comedians serve as the season's opening act, but Hancher has a variety of shows on the bill this year.

"We have Broadway shows coming, " Swanson said. "We have the Joffrey Ballet coming."

Swanson and the staff can't wait for opening day to finally arrive, after 8 years without a home for Hancher performances.

"It has taken over a million hours to make this happen," Swanson said.

But of course, the original building is a place staff will never forget.

"That history and all of those wonderful memories, they'll always be a part of Hancher," said Swanson.

Tickets for the season went on sale Friday.

Swanson says sales are impressive.

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