The Capitol Theatre site in downtown Willimantic was selected for redevelopment to revitalize education and community growth. Built in 1925, the dilapidated theater had been closed for almost 30 years.
Because of the racial and ethnic diversity of the community, the theater was considered ideal as a magnet school site. The architect completed the addition CAPACITY150COST PER SQ FT$283.00FEATURED IN2005 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized renovation, and converged the building into the new Arts at the Capitol Theatre (ACT) Magnet School.
ACT is a half-time school for students in grades 9 to 12 with an interest in or talent for performing arts. Students spend the other half of the day at their home schools.
Completed in fall 2004, the addition is home to classrooms, administrative offices, studios and other student-support spaces. The renovation of the theater transformed it from a movie house into a 225-seat apron stage facility. In addition, an art gallery and student lounge enhance the urban dynamic at street level. The new Arts at the Capitol Theatre is being used by both the school and the community.