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Little Theatre announces renovations, capital campaign


The Little Theatre on Thursday, March 15, announced plans to renovate and upgrade its theater 1 to better serve the needs of modern moviegoers. The “Little Big Picture Campaign" aims to raise $1 million for rehabilitation, renovations, and upgrades to its historic theater 1,  to match funds already committed through the Regional Economic Development Council. And The Little’s target date for securing pledges is October 31.

A rendering of projected Little Theatre 1 renovations via Bero Architecture PLLC. - PHOTO PROVIDED
  • A rendering of projected Little Theatre 1 renovations via Bero Architecture PLLC.
Theater 1 opened in 1929. Historically-sensitive renovations will include new seating plus cup holders, the rehabilitation of fire safety fixtures, the installation of a “lula” elevator to provide access to all floors of the building, options for recording live events, an energy-efficient LED lighting system, new projection and Dolby 7.1 equipment, a renovated kitchen, the addition of two green rooms, an ADA-accessible second floor restroom, side and rear entrance improvements, and the installation of a new stage that will support additional kinds of events.

The renovations to the auditorium will keep the East Avenue-facing theater closed from Wednesday, May 30, through Sunday, September 30 (other renovations to the building will take place in 2019). The four other theaters and The Little Café will remain open during that period.

Theaters 4 and 5 will receive renovations in the coming weeks, including the addition of a hearing loop, aisle lights, and new seats in theater 5. The tentative closing schedule for Theater 5 is Tuesday, March 20, to Thursday, March 29. Theater 4 will tentatively be closed Monday, March 26, to Wednesday, March 28, for the addition of a hearing loop.

These plans are part of a six-year effort to improve the Little Theatre complex, which have already included the renovation of the Little's marquee in last year, digital projection equipment in all five theaters, a refurbished 35-millimeter projector to show archival films, the installation of hearing loops, new seats, and upgraded restroom facilities.

The next phase of the upgrades, which will take place after 2018, include modifying the lobby of theater 1 to expand into the side storefronts to improve ticket queueing. An improved concessions area will fill out the east storefront, the inner lobby will be repurposed as a lounge, and repairs will be made to the building structure to rehabilitate the primary facade elements.

Information about the campaign is available at