LONDON, ONT. -- If you look take a look at the century-old stage at the Grand Theatre in London now it is a shell of its former self, but not for long.

“It's a very complicated stage system and it’s old,” said Dennis Garnhum, the artistic director at the Grand. “It was time to replace it all with new steel, new pipes and new rigging to make it efficient and safer.”

The $9-million renovation, which got underway last month, also includes a facelift to the entrance, box office area, washrooms and bars.

“Everything is outdated and it's time to give us a better experience,” Garnhum added.

Even though COVID-19 cancelled the regularly scheduled season, the Grand is keeping its fingers crossed and hoping it can show off these renovations by the fall of 2021.

Garnhum believes the past several months have changed the way people will spend their entertainment dollars in the future.

“COVID is going to change how we travel, how we get on airplanes and I suspect more people are going to want to find entertainment nearby which is exactly what we are.”

Garnhum is excited to see the work completed saying, “We’re making this more COVID-friendly, more accessible, when we're ready, when the world's ready you're going to see a whole new beautiful Grand Theatre.”