Here is press release from our friends at the Count Basie Theatre about the amazing renovation project that will completely revitalize the legendary theater with a major expansion, encompassing an entire block in Red Bank! The future looks bright!
THE FUTURE IS NOW: RED BANK’S HISTORIC COUNT BASIE THEATRE LAYS OUT A VISION FOR ITS FUTURE
For almost a century, Red Bank’s historic Count Basie Theatre has served the community with a diversity of entertainment and educational programming, and today the nonprofit organization has unveiled a vision for its future. Plans include a new, glass-walled lobby, a modern upgrade for the theatre’s backstage area, a second, multi-use venue for up and coming artists, and new space for area arts nonprofits, partner programs,and the theatre’s ever-growing Performing Arts Academy. “Through the years, the Count Basie Theatre has acquired land to both the east and west of the venue,” said Tom Widener, Chairman of the theatre’s board of directors and trustees.
“We are now able to move toward our longtime vision of an entire city block dedicated to the performing arts, incorporating the historic theatreand developing a creative campus that serves not only Red Bank, but our region as a whole.”
Entertainers Maureen and Steven Van Zandt, both of whom have performed at the theatre throughout their careers, have joined on as honorary co-chairs.
“The Count Basie Theatre’s expansion into a true, regional center for the performing arts will be an example for other communities to follow nationwide, and worldwide,” Steven Van Zandt said. “Maureen and I are dedicated to doing everything possible to support it.”
Fundraising for the $20 million dollar project is underway, with several major donations including a $1 million dollar gift from Rumson’s Mulheren family, already committed.
"The Basie has played an important role in our family's lives," said Nancy Mulheren, Count Basie Theatre board member and philanthropist. "It is our honor to help take a giant step toward creating a long lasting legacy and vision for the future."
“This will be a conservative project we won’t spend money until it has been raised,” said Adam Philipson, Count Basie Theatre President and CEO. “That said, we’re optimistic that we can raise the money and have shovels in the ground within three to four years.”
In fact, under the vision unveiled today, the Basie estimates that its regional economic impact of $17 million calculated by using the Americans for the Arts Economic Indicator could rise to $30 million upon completion.
“The Future Is Now” vision continues restoration efforts started at the historic theatre in 2008, and moves a step further to bring the facility into the 21st century.