Project Objectives

A Self Sustaining Project

The Woodward, unlike almost all other community theater projects, will not become a financial burden to the community.

The core financial model depends on a steady income.  The Woodward complex is currently occupied on the first floor with retail and office tenants in space totaling 11,000 sq. ft.  When the overall project is complete, there will be over 26,865 sq. ft. of leasable space for as many as 29 tenants in the facility and the ability to generate rental facility income.  The rental income from this part of the project will be sufficient to operate and maintain the Woodward complex in perpetuity.

There are four forms of income producing space available in the upper floors and basement of the facility:


Retail Spaces (1st Floor and Basement)

The first floor is partially renovated and currently 100% occupied with paying tenants.  It will continue to be leased primarily for retail and food service businesses.  The future basement spaces will be marketed using two methods.  First, the basement area will be advertised as direct retail rental space available primarily to artisans for making and selling their products.  Second, it will be set up as an arts sales cooperative for artisans who do not have the means to maintain a full time retail operation.  In addition, it is the objective to have the 101 S. Main basement re-established as a snack shop as it was for almost 100 years — peanuts, popcorn, caramel crunch and the like, most probably on a smaller scale than the original retail food operation.


Office Space (2nd Floor - Woodward & Annex buildings)

When available, this space will be advertised and rented.  Handicap accessible second floor office space in the heart of downtown Mount Vernon and located in one of the most historic buildings in America will be highly sought after space.  Several not-for-profit entities have already signed letters of intent to use this space.  The Woodward second floor is conducive to establish an open office and/or office co-share arrangement, to allow for a business incubator center for local entrepreneurs.


Performing Arts Space (3rd Floor - Woodward & Annex buildings)

The Woodward and Annex Theater spaces will be managed by the Knox Partnership for Arts and Culture, the area arts council.  This group is already established in the retail space operating [email protected] building its model for expansion.  The economic model for the final Woodward arts operation would include a monthly or per event rent for the performance facilities and a per ticket contribution levied on all income producing events to supplement the long term maintenance of the arts portion of the facility.


Conferences & Meetings

In the daytime and many evenings, the theater, the two black box theater spaces, and several other parts of the facility would be perfect for hosting meetings, small banquets, conferences, and the like thereby adding to the ability of the facility to generate supplemental income.  This will correlate nicely with the area banquets centers and become a value added portion of the meeting and conference product in Knox County and Mount Vernon.


Contact Information

The Woodward Opera House,

107 South Main Street
Mount Vernon, OH 43050

(740) 392-6102
(800) 837-5282

[email protected]


Engage arts and community leadership to authentically restore the Woodward Opera House into a fully functional theater operation, develop the overall Woodward facility into a contemporary self-sustaining arts center for community interaction, become a catalyst for excellence in education, encourage civic engagement, and enrich the quality of life in the Mount Vernon ~ Knox County, Ohio area.