It took two years and nine months to construct the Dayton Masonic Center, according to the center’s website. The cost to build the Grecian style building in 1926 was $2.5 million. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Dayton Masonic Center gets upgrade and new focus as concert venue

Musical tributes to Rush and the Eagles, a concert from the legendary Oak Ridge Boys and the return of rocker-turned-country singer Aaron Lewis are just some of the acts on the schedule for the newly remodeled facility inside the Masonic Center in Dayton.

After completing more than $2 million dollars in structural improvements and renovations in 2018, the facility operators made an effort to open up the space for more weddings, concerts and other public events. Local independent promotions team, Dayton Masonic Live, was enlisted to help the venue build a bigger presence in town.

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“The Masonic Center’s main Schiewetz Auditorium space is a pristinely preserved, one-of-a-kind theater,” Dayton Masonic Live’s facilities manager Brian Johnson said. “As a still independently owned and operated facility, this sizable investment to updates is yet another milestone in Dayton’s renaissance that we’re excited to help actualize through great concerts and events.”

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A musical tribute to Rush, the legendary Oak Ridge Boys and rocker-turned-country singer Aaron Lewis are just some of the acts Dayton Masonic Live is bringing to Schiewetz Auditorium inside the Masonic Center in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

The Masonic Center, formerly known as the Masonic Temple, was completed and dedicated in April 1928. It has been the site of meetings, conferences, dinners, concerts and more. Dayton Masonic Live, which has a seating capacity of about 1,700, is now booking “a diverse mix of entertainment options, including nationally touring bands, renowned tribute acts, spoken word performers, along with family-centric and local events.”

>> Celebrate the music of Rush at the Dayton Masonic Center this weekend

First up on the schedule is the Rush Tribute Project on Saturday, Feb. 1, which is timely considering the recent death of the Canadian rock group’s drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. The show features vintage instruments, wardrobe changes and more than three hours of hits and deep cuts from the trio’s 50-year career.

It took two years and nine months to construct the Dayton Masonic Center, according to the center’s website. The cost to build the Grecian style building in 1926 was $2.5 million. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

“The Rush Tribute Project is one of the most accurate and authentic cover bands playing today,” Johnson said. “All fans of Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and the late Neil Peart will be thrilled by this tribute.”

COMING UP NEXT

Dayton Masonic Live hosts Face 2 Face: A Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel on Friday, Feb. 7, followed by an evening of acoustic songs and stories with Aaron Lewis on Saturday, Feb. 22. Other notable concerts include Three Dog Night on Saturday, March 7, and Bobby Osborne & the Rocky Top Express with Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers on Saturday, April 18.

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“The Masonic Center has always had a commitment to Dayton through hosting a variety of local events over the years,” Johnson said. “As we continue to activate the space more and more, we still want to have a strong commitment to our neighbors. We want Dayton Masonic Live to be a space where everyone feels welcome.”

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