News Article

ACM opens newly renovated campus theater
October 30, 2023


By: Greg Larry

Allegany College of Maryland officials and members of the public celebrated the completion of a $2.6 million renovation of the campus theater Friday with a ribbon-cutting event.

Known as the Dr. Robert S. Zimmer Theatre, the $2.6 million renovation included new audio and visual equipment, stage curtains, speakers and acoustic ceiling clouds for enhanced sound, and new flooring and seating with American with Disabilities Act access.

Speakers for the event included William “Chip” Zimmer, son of late ACM founder Robert Zimmer; Cynthia Bambera, ACM president; Jane Belt, ACM trustee; Jenna Gallion, arts and humanities chair; Kolby Custer, forestry major and Sadie Strawderman, a nursing major.

“You may remember when this theater and campus were built in the late 1960s,” Belt said. “This has been a massive undertaking. The team that took this theater down to its bones can tell you about the remarkable transformation that has taken place.”

“You may wonder where my passion for this theatre originates,” Bambera said. “Although I never wanted to be on stage, my husband and our two sons where theater majors. Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time in theaters around the country. I am delighted to share with you the grand renovation of our college’s theater.”

The renovation was made possible by grants, including federal funding secured by Rep. David Trone and Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen.

Chip Zimmer shared reminisces of his late father while music was provided by the ACM choral ensemble.

“What a beautiful renovation,” Gallion said. “A theater is the heart of a community and the Zimmer theatre is the heart of Allegany College of Maryland. This is a place of learning, celebration and community.

“Importantly, the Zimmer theatre is for our regional community as well. It’s a place where theatre groups and dance companies can perform for friends and families. When people of community visit here, no matter their position or status, we enter as individuals but we leave transformed and from those experiences a community is strengthened.”