The renamed Kings Theatre will begin to host shows once again, following a four decade break due to the neglect of the building. Closing its doors in 1977 due to a number of financial problems, the theatre then fell into disrepair and was even threatened with demolition. However, the theatre was later purchased in 2008 by Houston-based ACE Theatrical Group and restoration began in January 2013.
Even more beautiful décor than before
The results have been hugely successful, with 3,250 seats reupholstered, original American-walnut panelling refinished, and ornate plaster walls and chandeliers reproduced. Even the carpet has been replicated to mirror the original flooring, by copying the patterns shown in black and white images and matching the colours with surviving fragments.
There has also been a new building added to the rear, where stage equipment is stored alongside dressing rooms, and in the basement a full-sized basketball court has been replaced with 21st century bathrooms. Visitors, including those on luxury escorted tours of the USA, can expect to see productions such as the Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker’’ and a touring revival of the Broadway show “Annie” in the near future.
As the venue is one of five opulent ‘Wonder Theatres’, named after the amazing organs, the highlight of the performing arts centre is soon to be the console of the venue’s original seven tonne Wonder Organ. After being stored in Oklahoma, it has now been purchased by the Organ Society of New York and should be returning in the next few years.
Alongside the cutting of the ribbon tomorrow, there is also set to be an inaugural concert performed by Motown legend Diana Ross on February 3rd, followed by an open house on February 7th.
Image Credit: Troy Tolley (Flickr.com)