Newly renovated theatre reopens

Cranbrook Community Theatre celebrates rejuvenated Studio Stage Door with open house

The extension renovations to one of Cranbrook’s key heritage and cultural buildings are done, and the occasion was marked with an open house and ribbon cutting this week.

Cranbrook Community Theatre announced the completion of the “Upper lobby project” on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Studio Stage Door theatre in downtown Cranbrook. CCT President Peter Schalk said the 13-week project came in on budget, uncovered heritage features from the past, and gave the upper area of the 100-year-old-plus building — the lobby, kitchen and concession — “a green footprint that would be the envy of many heritage buildings.

“All new wiring, all new insulation, new tight windows (on all sides of the second floor), energy efficient — we’ve greened our own building,” Schalk said.

When the lobby walls were taken down, an important historical feature was uncovered — the building’s original brick chimney, built in 1909, which runs from basement to roof, and which now graces the lobby’s south wall as a feature that enhances the whole space.

New wall sconces and a new ticket booth are also part of the lobby upgrades.

As well, the half-century old floor in the Studio performance space on the first floor was replaced with new hardwood, and new lighting installed.

The funds to help run the project were raised through the Columbia Basin Trust Fund under the Arts, Culture and Venues Grant, and the Cranbrook Community Theatre Society. The total funds amounted to nearly $93,000.

“We are proud of our partnership with the Columbia Basin Trust Fund,” Schalk said. “We know have have used these shared funds to update and make relevant the historic building known as the Studio Stage Door.

CCT have served as stewards of the theatre — the former Masonic Lodge — ever since that group saved the building from demolition in the 1970s and turned it into a theatre and performance space.

“Not only do we bring theatre ‘for the community and by the community,’ but we also cater to almost 40 user groups, making this space truly a community,” Schalk said.

CCT wanted to thank Robin Brazenall from Munter Design and Build Corp. for the “excellent communication and quality work that went into the building.” CCT also thanked the City of Cranbrook for “continuing to show their support for CCT and the Studio Stage Door.

The new floor was installed with help from Cranbrook Flooring and BC Hydro.

CCT held it’s annual general meeting in the theatre after the open house Tuesday.

Pictured above: Mayor Lee Pratt cuts the ceremonial ribbon re-opening the newly renovation upper lobby of the Studio Stage Door theatre Tuesday, Sept. 17. In the background is the original 1909 chimney uncovered by the renovations. Left to right: Kevin Higgins (CCT), Peter Schalk (CCT President), Bob Romanowicz (Munter Design and Build), Mayor Pratt, Robin Brazerall (Munter Design and Build), Lynnette Wray (Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies), Will Nixon (Columbia Basin Trust). Barry Coulter photo

Pictured below: The half-century old floor in the Studio performance space on the first floor was replaced with new hardwood, and new lighting installed. Left to right: Ashlée Martin (CCT), Lynnette Wray (Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies), Sally MacDonald (BC Hydro), Peter Schalk (CCT President), Clint Eaton (Cranbrook Flooring), Marnée Bellavance (CCT). Barry Coulter

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