The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey opened in 1926 as the Carlton Theatre, with seating for about 2,000 patrons. It was equipped for moving pictures, vaudeville, and dramatic shows. The theatre was rechristened the Count Basie Theatre in 1984, in honor of Red Bank native, jazz pianist, composer and bandleader William “Count” Basie (1904-1984).
Principals and staff of Mills + Schnoering Architects (M+Sa) have worked with the theater on a series of award-winning projects, including a Concept Study and Master Plan, National Register of Historic Places Nomination, Interior Renovation/Restoration, and Exterior Renovation. Work has included the restoration of the auditorium and lobbies, as well as the creation of a patron lounge and a new patio and bar for use before performances, during intermission, and for special events. Infrastructure improvements have been integrated to the extent possible to help facilitate future construction. The firm recently updated the Master Plan, developing options for a new lobby; new multi-purpose performance venue; expanded stage house to accommodate current and future productions; new stage rigging; new dressing rooms, green rooms, and catering kitchen; new loading and bus/truck/staff parking; and air conditioning in the main auditorium and lobbies. M+Sa is currently working with the theater to implement structural and HVAC upgrades.