TheatreDNA, a Los Angeles-based theatre consulting firm, presented a Lewisville Grand Theater renovation assessment report to Lewisville City Council and staff during Monday's city council meeting.
In 2022, TheatreDNA was part of a feasibility study team with the City of Lewisville to assess the long-term goals and needs for Lewisville Grand Theater in terms of renovations or adding onto the facility.
There were three potential concepts that city staff could pursue for the Lewisville Grand Theater which are as follows:
HOME: serves local community, improves existing operations, increases hall seating capacity, and allows for a new lobby.
PORTICO: 500-plus seat flexible theater, additional lobby and administration space, additional rehearsal spaces, inviting street frontage, and connection to park.
BEACON: 1000-plus seat proscenium theater, full stage and fly tower, orchestra pit, and main street entrance.
Once city staff and TheatreDNA started crunching the numbers through cost analysis, they decided to focus on the HOME design.
"The goals of the renovation study were to figure out what spaces and what equipment was starting to fail that needed to be replaced before it reached a critical point of no return,” said Alex Hargis, business development and operations and planning staff for TheatreDNA. “Other areas were to address safety if there were safety concerns and another goal was to expand offerings to the community in terms of local art groups, as well as private rentals and the community at large, and also how to increase revenue for the facility at large by tweaking spaces or adding seats and different performance spaces.”
TheatreDNA evaluated Lewisville Grand Theater’s exterior, the art gallery, the recital hall, the courtyard, the lobby, Huffines Performance Hall, Black Box Theater, and classrooms in their assessment. The renovations planned for the Lewisville Grand Theater include the following items.
Courtyard and exterior areas
TheatreDNA found that there was a deficit of storage space within Lewisville Grand Theater and proposed that staff construct a storage building outside by the loading dock to accommodate for the minimal storage space. Hargis said that with the storage building, this could also create interior and exterior branding elements and signs for the Black Box Theater and resume printing large format banners and using existing wall anchors for advertising events.
Lobby and common areas
A priority item identified for lobby and common areas, according to TheatreDNA’s findings, include revamped wayfinding elements and room schedule displays. This would include common area signage improvements, concession stand aesthetic upgrades, construction of a new welcome desk, and additional lobby electrical outlets.
Huffines Performance Hall
Hargis said that a priority item for Huffines Performance Hall should be for Lewisville Grand Theater to convert the performance lighting system from incandescent to LED. In addition, replace house lighting with color-changing LED units, fix broken electrical outlets and AV patch panels, add networked fiber infrastructure and outlets, and replace control booth windows.
Black Box Theater
For Black Box Theater, TheatreDNA found that staff should consider adding a telescopic seating system with an elevated control platform. This change would also include converting performance lighting to LED, adding DMX networking for the LED lighting system, and replacing house lighting with color-changing LED units.
Recital Hall renovations
The biggest priority for the Lewisville Grand Theater Recital Hall was identified as a storage problem. Hargis recommended staff add a wall partition for sound isolation and extra storage, replace all door seals for sound isolation, add AV networking infrastructure, and add new theatrical lighting fixtures.
Art Gallery renovations
The only priority TheatreDNA identified for the art gallery was to add 120V power outlets and add AV networking outlets for better use of the space.
Classroom and dressing rooms
For classrooms, TheatreDNA recommended maximizing the space by converting classrooms 1A/1B into a VIP lounge event space. Hargis said this project would need interior design edits, AV networking and conferencing equipment, patio furniture and landscaping, and adding AV networking and equipment upgrades to classrooms 2A/2B.
Total anticipated project costs for TheatreDNA’s recommended priorities for Lewisville Grand Theater would be $1,550,207. Council has set aside the money in the theater’s budget for these priority items to be completed this year.
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