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On February 12, 1994, during a terrible winter, the historic Mt. Gretna Playhouse collapsed under tons of ice and snow. The building had been owned and maintained by Chautauqua for its entire 98 years. For the 1994 summer season the Chautauqua provided a large tent on the site of the old playhouse. In 1995, Gretna residents, Chautauqua, and the Mt. Gretna Arts Council built a new Playhouse with 750 seats, preserving the only part of the old Playhouse to survive the collapse, the stage floor. The new structure recalls the old playhouse, but includes important improvements to the backstage area, more comfortable seats and modern amenities. In 1997 new sound absorbing baffles and an acoustical canopy improved the sound quality for both plays and music, without altering the historic conical vaulted design derived from the original structure.