Bert Church Theatre opens its doors
Renovations to the Bert Church Theatre are nearly complete and to celebrate the completion of the project, the Airdrie City View was given a tour of the facility for a peak at some of the new features on Oct. 24.
The addition of a 7,000-square-foot lobby means the theatre will no longer have to share space with Bert Church High School and will provide a large gathering area for theatre goers with more open space.
Unique lighting features with a bigger and brighter design are reflective of the performing arts, according to Theatre Manager Dennis Tinkler. The lobby sports geometric, multi-coloured lights and a glass façade to allow for a maximum amount of natural light.
“We examined other performing arts venues and ours coincides with what you’d find at many other theatres,” said Tinkler.
Construction began on Feb. 14, and came with a $2.9-million price tag – increasing to $3.6 million with furniture – and was designed to be as energy efficient as possible. LED lighting is used in the light fixtures and the heating and air condition system are programmed to function based on occupancy.
The City part Province funded upgrade, included water efficient toilets and sinks that are touch activated to minimize the amount of water used.
The surface of the stage itself has been rebuilt and equipped with a new lighting system and Tinkler hopes that a new sound system will be installed in the near future. New seats have been installed for the comfort of patrons.
The lobby itself is not much bigger than the space that was used in Bert Church High School, but high ceilings and glass walls that allow for natural light to enter to create the illusion of a much bigger and more open space.
“It’s about lighting and space and engaging people with their surroundings,” said Tinkler. “It’s all about the comfort of the people who come to the theatre.
Brick walls in the lobby will be adorned with original works of art by Airdrie artists. Upon first entry to the building, it appears elaborate but Tinkler explains the design is practical.
“It’s mostly bricks and glass and cement floors,” said Tinkler. “It’s designed to last a long time without deteriorating.”
Outside of the building is an LED display screen that will advertise upcoming shows, and inside are a pair of large, flat-screen televisions that will broadcast audio and video from on stage inside the theatre.
The lobby has been equipped with a new box office and offices for staff and a green room for performers that leads directly to the stage.
“This facility has been custom tailored to what we wanted,” said Tinkler. “It is even better than I could have imagined.”
For ticket information and lists of upcoming shows, visit www.thebertchurchtheatre.com