Garrick Theatre/Bonavista, Newfoundland CANADA

NEWS FROM CANADA:  Crystal (Randell) Fudge, Archivist at the Bonavista Archives in Newfoundland wrote to let us know that the GARRICK THEATRE is about to reopen!  Visit them at www.garricktheatre.com or check them out on Facebook! 


 

 For nearly six decades the Garrick Theatre was a popular venue at Bonavista, Newfoundland for film, and, occasionally, for live performances. The Garrick is currently undergoing an extensive redevelopment under the Bonavista Historic Townscape Management Plan to provide a new performing arts facility and cinema that will serve people on the tip of the Bonavista Peninsula many decades into the future.
 
Built by 19 year-old John Bradley with the assistance of his father, F. Gordon Bradley, in 1945 – during an era of relative prosperity in the local economy – the Garrick has been a popular entertainment venue for generations of area residents. Named after David Garrick, an 18th century pioneer of English theatre – and thus sharing the name with several other theatres in English-speaking countries, including the famous Garrick in London – this theatre was built with a traditional stage and proscenium to accommodate live theatre and music. However the immense popularity of film, especially in the early years, left little room for other events. In the 1980s and 1990s, the business waned as it did for most independent movie theatres throughout North America. The Garrick finally closed in 2000 and John Bradley and family donated it to the Bonavista Historical Society in 2003.

Owned by the Bonavista Historical Society and operated and managed by the Bonavista Historic Townscape Foundation as a non-profit venture, the Garrick will offer live performances of all types, both local and visiting productions. In order to make the facility more financially viable – and to ensure that it is used for the maximum number of nights during the year – cinema will continue to play an important role, with current Newfoundland, Canadian and international films being offered on nights when live performances are not scheduled. Exterior restoration began in 2003 and included the construction of two additions to accommodate new washrooms, dressing rooms and a production area behind the stage. The interior redevelopment will require an upgrade of the stage, proscenium, auditorium, lobby and public washrooms, the installation of new mechanical and electrical systems, projection equipment, theatrical sound and lighting systems, wheelchair lifts, and new seats. The facility, including stage and dressing rooms, will be fully accessible. The budget for this extensive interior redevelopment is approximately $1,610,000. 

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