The Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto will close its doors on May 15 to undergo a major $2.5 million renovation project and reopen six months later encompassing a revamped interior but with several hundred less seats.
Following the 11-month run of Kinky Boots, the theatre will begin a restoration plan that includes removing 253 seats and replacing them with new ones with more leg room.
“Theatre owners always want to increase seating capacity so as to maximize their revenue,” said Royal Alexandra Theatre owner David Mirvish in a statement.
“We are doing the opposite: we are decreasing the seating capacity so as to increase the audience’s comfort and to create the best circumstances in which an audience can enjoy and appreciate the artists’ work onstage.”
The orchestra will lose 75 seats, the dress circle 70 seats, and the balcony 108 seats.
The plaster mouldings on the balcony fronts and ceiling will be cleaned and restored to their original look. The rake of the orchestra level will also be restored to its original angle.
“Our goal is to continue to build Toronto’s reputation of being a great theatre city. The Royal Alex has always been the jewel of the city, and we wan to ensure it always will be,” said Mirvish.
The theatre originally opened in 1907 and purchased by Mirvish’s father Ed in 1963.