Performing Arts Centers

The Performing Arts Theater Experience

Creating a More Flexible Space

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By hosting virtual events and keeping the lines of communication open with patrons, today’s theaters are doing an admirable job weathering the Covid-19 pandemic. But there’s no getting around the fact that contemporary performing arts venues are likely in for a lengthy shutdown. This is due to their size and the inherent risk to audience members, theater staff, and performers alike.

Still, the shutdown does come with at least one opportunity. For those looking to build, the timing couldn’t be better. If you’re in the planning stages, the trend is toward flexible spaces capable of drawing different sources of funding/support. The goal is to find more ways to reach new audiences.

In design terms, today’s theaters are evolving from a stage plus lounge model to one that offers adjacent rooms for events, lectures, music, and experimental performances. They’re also adaptable, allowing for flat lines as well as graduated seating options, making it possible for applications, such as workshops, classes, and events capable of bringing in new revenue streams.

Finally, with the growing role of technology, it’s important to consider how multi-media experiences can be integrated.

If you’re looking to build a performing arts space, Irwin has over century of experience collaborating with theaters on seating options. We love a good challenge. Before the curtains finally go up, our teams can help you create an immersive experience, complete with:

  • Fixed, telescopic, and modular seating options
  • Customizable solutions to meet your aesthetic
  • Smart, multi-media and experiential options
  • Choices of materials, shapes, colors
  • Seating that offers flat or raised sightlines based on the space
  • Durable seating that is easy to clean, move, and store
  • Guidance on proper cleaning solutions and maintenance procedures

When theater season finally arrives, patrons will not only be looking for a comfortable, accommodating seat, but also peace of mind. Reach out to Irwin. We’ll share our latest thinking, including strategies for keeping your audience, staff, and performers safe. No matter the need, we’re here to help.

Blog Post 1

Performing Arts Centers: Safe Reopen Survey Data Brief

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

Blog Post 2

Preparing Your Facility And Guests For A Safe Return

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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

Clowes Memorial Hall

Indianapolis, Indiana

Clowes Memorial Hall is the anchor of the Butler Arts & Events Center. With 2,148 seats and a history of presenting artists dating back to 1963, the venue remains Indiana’s most versatile and professional performance space, having welcomed the world’s greatest talent and personalities.

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Thomas Aquinas College

Santa Paula, California

Thomas Aquinas College has earned a national reputation for academic and spiritual vigor. St. Cecelia Hall provides the College with a beautiful concert hall that includes a mix of fixed and telescopic seating for a flexible space.

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Minskoff Theatre

New York, New York

The Minskoff is one of the Nederlander Organization's nine broadway theatres and currently hosts Disney's The Lion King. The 1,600 seat theatre is located a minute's walk from Times Square and includes custom Davies chairs.

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