Before turning 50, Theater Arlington gets a $ 3 million facelift

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A render of the Arlington Theater redesign, which is slated for completion in January 2022.

courtesy of LBL Architects

The Arlington Theater is about to undergo a radical change.

The live theater – with roots stretching back to its humble beginnings 48 years ago as a traveling troupe and stretching to its current home fashioned from a former lumberyard – plans to reopen for its 49th season in January 2022, after a $ 3 million facelift.

A $ 2 million grant is helping fund the mega renovation, which will include a new exterior, expanded lobby and other interior upgrades including new locker rooms, the addition of two new classrooms and a new stage. According to a press release, the site chose LBL Architects, an architectural firm based in Arlington since 1965, as well as RJM Contractors, based in Fort Worth, to complete construction.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to showcase our work in such an historic area of ​​Arlington,” Kenny Buyers, RJM vice president, said in the statement. “And we’re extremely excited to work with this team and bring the vision for this renovation to life. ”

Earlier this year, the site, which serves more than 30,000 customers per year, was selected for a $ 2 million grant from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, which oversees funds raised through gas drilling activities on the properties. from the city. The theater has since raised around 80 percent of the remaining funds needed to meet the project’s financial goal.

Since the early 1990s, performances have taken place in the current premises of the Arlington Theater, near a railroad track in downtown Arlington, on West and Main streets. Neighbors near the evolving Cultural Arts District include the Arlington Art Museum, Miss Persis Dance Studio, and newcomer Create Arlington.

The Levitt Pavilion opened within earshot of the theater in 2008, offering free concerts throughout its season. The area was later named one of seven new cultural arts districts designated by the Texas Arts Commission in 2016.

“I think we have a really fun, good, diverse and interesting season ahead.” –Arlington Theater executive producer Steven Morris

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“In addition to a regular season with nine productions and a cabaret series, the theater operates a year-round theater school, including spring break and summer camps,” the statement said.

Free, low-cost artistic enrichment programs are also offered at the local children’s theater through partnerships with the Arlington Independent School District and various community organizations.
Steven Morris, who took the helm as the theater’s executive producer in 2018, hosted a video chat last week to discuss the upcoming season and pitch suggestions for the association’s 50th season.

Morris said the highly anticipated theater season will begin with Sister act in January, adding that The piano lesson, Biloxi Blues and James and the giant peach will be among the other shows in the lineup. Season tickets go on sale in September.

“Really, I’m excited about all of them,” Morris said of the planned deals. “I think we have a really fun, good, diverse and interesting season ahead.”

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