June 14, 2013 NORWALK, CT – As part of an ongoing effort to promote Connecticut tourism, Governor Dannel P. Malloy and State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) announced on Thursday afternoon that the Globe Theater and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk will soon receive state assistance for essential renovations and upgrades.
The officials said both investments will help foster tourism and recreation in Norwalk, to the benefit of the local economy.
“The Maritime Aquarium is a Connecticut gem located in Southwestern Connecticut and the Globe Theater will once again regain that title too. They also add to our state’s economic development efforts,” Governor Malloy said. “Travel and tourism activities in Connecticut generate $11.5 billion annually in economic activity and are responsible for 110,000 jobs. It’s an important that we continue to drive this important sector of our economy forward.”
“The Globe Theater on Wall Street has a storied history in our city. Though the building has fallen into disrepair, it remains a local treasure, and holds the potential to transform the neighborhood around it if rejuvenated. I am proud to support this redevelopment effort, and thank Governor Malloy for his support,” said Senator Duff. “The Maritime Aquarium is about to celebrate 25 years of bringing Long Island Sound creatures into the city, and these critical repairs will keep them going for many more years to come. Both of these investments will help draw visitors to Norwalk and our other local businesses.”
“I’m pleased that there will be an attraction of this magnitude on Wall Street. It’s something we can all get excited about,” Rep. Chris Perone (D-Norwalk).
“This is good news for Norwalk and an investment into the future of The Maritime Aquarium,” said Rep. Bruce Morris (D-Norwalk).
Throughout its 98-year history, Norwalk’s Globe Theater has hosted vaudeville and burlesque shows, movies and rock concerts. Yet the theater has now been closed for a decade, and its surrounding neighborhood has seen years of economic decline. A major effort to redevelop and restore the Globe Theater is now ready to progress beyond its early stages.
Plans call for restoration of the theater into a general-use/multipurpose venue to accommodate live entertainment, conferences, assemblies and public performances. The project is envisioned as part of a larger development plan for the Wall Street area of Norwalk, with significant benefits for low and moderate-income residents of the neighborhood and the city as a whole.
The State Bond Commission is expected to approve $1.5 million at its upcoming June meeting as part of an overall $7.5 million theater redevelopment effort.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk has brought the wildlife of Long Island Sound to city residents and visitors alike for the past 25 years. It boasts 34 exhibits featuring more than 1,200 marine animals of 259 species, in addition the largest IMAX Theater in the state.
For some time, the aquarium’s original air conditioning chillers have been in need of ongoing repairs, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars annually. The equipment is essential to maintaining a suitable environment for the aquarium’s animals and visitors.
The Bond Commission is expected to approve $400,000 at its next meeting to help replace one the aquarium’s two chiller units.