Count Basie Center for the Arts


Renovation and restoration of the Count Basie Theatre gave back to Red Bank, New Jersey residents a venue that originally opened in 1926.

A major anonymous donation in 1973 was the first step in allowing the Monmouth County Arts Council to preserve and reopen the historic theatre for cultural uses. Originally  known as the Carlton when it opened in 1926,  the theatre was renamed the Monmouth Arts Center and then became the Count Basie Theatre, in memory of  Red Bank native William “Count” Basie, a jazz pianist, bandleader and composer.

The work to date was in phases.  In 2004, FDA worked with Dahn and Krieger Architects to replace tired 1960’s era seats, previously rescued from Carnegie Hall, with comfortable and historically accurate seating.

In the latest phase, FDA, with Farewell Mills Gatsch architects, undertook a total restoration of the audience chamber: repair and repainting of the decorative plaster, new house lighting (including a new chandelier), new mechanical systems, and expansion of support space for the production staff and performers.  FDA facilitated the integration of infrastructure for a new stage lighting system and improved the existing accommodations for forestage lighting trusses and speaker clusters.

  • Project Category: Renovation and Restoration
  • Architect: Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC
  • Completion Year: 2008
  • Location: Red Bank, New Jersey
  • Capacity: 1,574 seats

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