Count Basie Theatre

Renovation Updates and Photo Gallery

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In 2010, Count Basie Theatre Launched the "Let's Face It" Capital Campaign to Rejuvenate the Facade

In 2010, The Count Basie Theatre has once again undergone a major renovation, this time to the exterior of the building, and launched the "Let's Face It" campaign to fund the work. Although scaffolding covered the front of the building, the shows went on.

Here is a photo of our completed brand-new facade and digital marquee:



During the summer of 2008, the Count Basie Theatre closed for an $8 million dollar renovation that included restoration of the plasterwork, decorative painting, infrastructure and HVAC work, new carpeting and lighting fixtures, new bars and merchandise counters, and the addition of a new VIP patron lounge.
Watch our YouTube video below for complete time-lapse photography of our 2008 summer renovations!


The slideshow below features many different before/after shots of the theatre over the years from 2004-2008.

The Count Basie Theatre's Restoration and Improvement Project

The Count Basie Theatre first opened in 1926, in an age before the technological equipment and conveniences that are now required to stage performances. Keeping an 80-year-old building open is a daily challenge, and improving it is a monumental undertaking. The goal for the Count Basie Theatre's restoration and renovation is simple: to restore the theatre to its former glory.

Repair & Stabilization

Between 1995 and 2001 a series of phased projects to repair and stabilize the infrastructure of the building were conducted, resulting in, among other improvements:

-The restoration of the exterior façade, including a new marquee. 
-Construction of a lighting and sound control booth in the rear of the auditorium. 
-New roof and drainage systems. 
-New fire alarm and security systems. 
-The purchase of the building next door at 101 Monmouth Street, along with a new boiler for the building, to eventually incorporate it into the theatre and expand the theatre's front-of-house and backstage spaces. 
-A building-wide computer network and a computerized ticketing system. 
-Central air circulation in the administrative offices and rehearsal room.


Improvements & Restoration

Then in the summer of 2004, the very first improvements to the theatre were completed, resulting in, among other improvements:

-Over 1,500 brand new historically accurate theatre seats.
-New house lighting fixtures. 
-New auditorium carpeting. 
-New walls in the balcony. 
-Restoration of the balcony to its original 1926 configuration with improved sight lines. 
-Elimination of the acoustically poor windows at the rear wall of the orchestra. 


In total, over $1 million was expended on theatre improvements in the summer of 2004, funded by the theatre's Take Your Seat campaign and a $1 for $1 matching grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts' Cultural Centers Capital Grant program.

Still To Come...

These are just the first improvements of what will be a series of several phased projects that ultimately, over time, will result in a completely restored, renovated and expanded Count Basie Theatre. 
Future renovations will include:

-An expanded lobby with new and more bathrooms, and additional concession spaces. 
-Backstage improvements to the stage rigging, lighting and sound to upgrade the theatre's ability to present the most modern and technically sophisticated performances. 
-And much more!


Take Your Seat at the Count Basie Theatre & Help Preserve this Historic, Vibrant Theatre

It costs the Count Basie Theatre over $3 million a year to operate, and because the theatre operates on a nonprofit basis, the theatre must fundraise over 25% of its annual operating budget. The cost of capital restorations and improvements to the building are on top of that amount. The Take Your Seat Campaign was created in 2003 to fund these projects. Over 130 donors have contributed to the campaign already, in amounts from $500 to more than $50,000 each. Every donation is acknowledged with a permanent plaque on the arm of a seat of the donor's choice (depending on availability) in the theatre.

The continuing restoration and improvement of the theatre is the cornerstone of a major investment in the Count Basie Theatre's leadership in the cultural and civic community of the Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex County area.

We invite you, your company, or your group, to take a seat!

  • Each seat you adopt will display a plaque on its arm, engraved with your personal inscription. This is a great opportunity to honor your family, remember a loved one, or promote your business.
  • You can make a pledge now and spread out your payments over the next two years.
  • All donors will receive a unique Take Your Seat lapel pin, so you can show your support of the advancement of the Count Basie Theatre and the arts in Red Bank.
If you have any questions about the Take Your Seat campaign or need more information, please contact the Foundation office at 732-224-8778 ext. 114. We sincerely hope that you will join our campaign and Take Your Seat as we continue to jazz up the Basie!

© 2016 Count Basie Theatre. All Rights Reserved. Count Basie Theatre is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.