NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The iconic Shubert Theater in New Haven is marking a big milestone this year. Thursday, the celebration began with a ground breaking ceremony kicking off the first phase of renovations at the theater.
The Shubert Theater is getting ready to celebrate its 100th anniversary. And although a ground breaking is not the most common practice, there’s a reason for it.
“So in preparation of our centennial season, we want to get the theater upgraded and ready for its anniversary,” said Anthony Lupinacci, Director, Public Relations.
Shubert will turn 100 on December 11th. Renovations are already underway at the theater. Some of which includes adding bathrooms to every level and upgrading the heating and cooling system.
The building hasn’t had a renovation since the 1980s.
“There are a lot of mechanical issue, structural issues that have to be maintained, improved, repaired and replaced,” said Lupinacci.
“The theater itself will stay the same in very historic. There’s not much that will change in the theater itself,” said John Fisher, Executive Director of Shubert Theater.
During renovations the location of the box office is going to change. It’s right down the street from the theater at the information center which is right at the intersection of Chapel and College streets.
Money for the renovations has come from public and private funds. All of which will keep the theater going for possibly another 100 years.
“In the theater world we are truly historic. Many of the big names have been through here in the last 100 years,” said Sheri Kaplan, General Manager.
“So what we are thinking of as a theme for the centennial is that we are celebrating the theater’s past but we are also building its future,” said Lupinacci.
The first phase of renovations will be complete by mid-October in time for the fall performances.
The theater first opened in New Haven on December 11, 1914. Back then, ticket prices started at 25-cents. It was closed in 1976, but brought back to life in 1983. Since it’s opening the theater has hosted hundreds of performances and debuted many Broadway blockbusters.
It’s currently owned by the Connecticut Association for the Performing Arts.