Historic Theatres

The Historic Theatre Experience

Balancing Authenticity With Flexibility & Safety

Paramount IL 3253

Around the country historic theaters are doing an amazing job of weathering the Covid-19 pandemic. For many this means hosting virtual events and finding fun ways to keep the lines of communication open with patrons.

With Broadway theaters not likely to open until January 2021 (if not later), most major theaters are expected to follow suit. Which means this may be the perfect time to capitalize on long-overdue renovations.

Like their modern counterparts, classical theaters are seeking flexibility and the ability to adapt seating to allow for flat lines as well as graduated seating, making it possible for applications, such as workshops, classes, and events capable of bringing in new revenue streams.

The goal with today’s classic renovations is to make better use of available space while maintaining the integrity of the original design. If you’re looking to update an historic space, Irwin has contributed to 33 of Broadway’s 35 theaters. We love historic spaces.

Before the curtains finally go up again, our teams can help you create an authentic experience, complete with:

  • Customizable: replacement seats use fabrics, finishes, materials, and stains to complement your space
  • Seating that offers flat or raised sightlines based on the space
  • Durable options that are easy to clean, move, and store
  • Guidance on proper cleaning solutions and maintenance procedures

Looking ahead, patrons will not only be looking for a comfortable, accommodating seat, but also a sense that they’re safe. Reach out to Irwin. We’ll share our latest thinking, including strategies for keeping your audience, staff, and performers protected. No matter the need, we’re here to help.

Blog Post. 1

Challenges & Solutions For Restoring Historical Theaters

Kings Theatre 4350

Irwin is one of the few companies that owners of older theaters can rely on to provide expert work in-house to bring their historic theaters back to life. We understand the challenges older facilities have in a restoration project and can share valuable insights we've learned over the years.

Blog Post 2

Performing Arts Centers: Safe Reopen Survey Data Brief

Ticket window

As the country pivots toward reopening, Irwin Seating asked their customers how they planned to approach the return to business.

Blog Post 3

Preparing Your Facility And Guests For A Safe Return

FSU Ruby Diamond 5464

Events and gatherings are on pause while the world recovers, but monitoring and maintaining your facility still continues. Here are some important steps to protect your seating while your venue is closed. These will also help you customers feel safe to return when the time is right.

Case Studies

Featured Projects

Boch Center, Wang Theatre

Boston, Massachusetts

The No. 168 Crest cast aisle standard was developed for this project and incorporates many elements found in the original design like the claw feet and low-profile scrolled armrests but also modern aspects like LED lighting and a logo treatment.

Wang Theatre 3414
The Orpheum

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The 2,600 seat Orpheum opened in 1921 with the Marx Brothers headlining the bill! Originally name the Hennepin Theatre, it was built for Vaudeville and then converted to a movie house in the late 30's. In 1988 the theatre began it's conversion back to a live theatre and is part of today's vibrant theatre scene in Minneapolis.

Orpheum Mn 9469
Uptown Theatre

Nappa, California

This stunningly restored art deco masterpiece from 1937 showcases the finest acts in music and comedy. A historic landmark, the Uptown offers a phenomenal, intimate live show experience with world class sound and site lines.

Uptown-2600
Saenger Theatre

New Orleans, Louisiana

In 2005, the Saenger was destroyed by hurricane Katrina. After millions of dollars and years of restoration work, the theatre reopened with it's magnificent 15th century Italian courtyard and gardens, with arched surroundings, columns, decorative moldings and blue domed ceiling.

Saenger-0426