Renovations to the old Uptown Theatre are nearing completion as the Central Alberta Theatre prepares to raise the curtains in their new home, City Centre Stage, in June.
A grand opening is planned for Sept. 7.
Dinner theatre shows are anticipated to start in October at the new location after completing their season on May 8 at the Black Knight Inn.
“The nice thing about (this venue) is that people can come and eat and watch the show, or just come to the show,” said William Trefry, executive director of CAT.
What used to be Cinemas Two and Three are now dubbed the “multifunction room.” This rooms main floor boasts a 120 to 130-person capacity, space to eat and prepare food.
“Down the road this room could be used for small intimate wedding receptions,” said Trefry.
Above the multi function room are the laundry, a three-piece washroom, three change rooms and a green room.
The old Cinema One, the largest of the three, floor has been left with a downward slope to provide auditorium seating. To allow for the 32 ft. deep by 47 ft. wide stage, four rows of seating had to be removed.
“We will be able to do more full scale productions because of the ceiling height in this room. The Black Knight Inn only offers a standard banquet room.”
This means that CAT’s shows can be more extravagant, intricate, and specialized to the space they now have available to them.
“Moving the dinner theatres in to this venue will open up a world of opportunity for us.”
The main theatre is also being offered for standup comedy nights as well as to corporations for keynote speakers looking to have an attendance of up to 300.
There are public washrooms downstairs that are not wheelchair accessible. Trefry has addressed the public concerns about accessibility, for those that need it, on the main floor.
“We actually had a citizen call, concerned that some of these washrooms only have right-hand grab bars. She is paralyzed on her right and can not use these.”
There are going to be two wheelchair accessible washrooms on the main floor, one with grab bars on the right, and one with grab bars on the left.
The final theatre space, what used to be Cinema Four, has been left with the movie screen and seating. It is currently being used primarily for storage, as it is the smallest of the rooms, with a capacity of only 107.
“We have church groups interested in using this room for Sunday morning services, and we are in negotiations with Red Deer College to use this for movie screenings.”
For more information on the Central Alberta Theatre and the City Centre Stage, visit www.centralalbertatheatre.ca.