The 343-seat Newtown Theatre was constructed in 1883 as Newtown Hall, a non-denominational place of worship and community space. The building sits on a residential block within the Newtown Historic District. Since the 1930s, the space has functioned as a single-screen movie house and live performance venue in addition to hosting community events. Over the years, the building’s masonry exterior has maintained its 1880s appearance, while the interior has reflected the changes made during the 1930s when Art Deco fixtures and finishes were introduced.
Mills + Schnoering Architects initially completed a feasibility study and prepared a Master Plan and concept design for additions and renovations to improve the building’s performance capabilities; provide accessibility for patrons, staff, and performers; and restore select historic elements to their 1930s appearance. The concept design included an expanded lobby, including updated ticketing and concessions areas; barrier-free entries into the building; new audience seating at both the orchestra and balcony levels; restoration of historic finishes; and new restrooms for patrons and theater staff. Recently, M+Sa designed renovations of the Auditorium to provide an improved patron experience and access. The project included the reconfiguration of the main Auditorium floor, creation of a new accessible entry porch and accessible toilet room on the main level, new seating on the main level, auditorium paint/plaster repair and restoration, and a fully automatic fire protection system.