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Sacred Heart University to Cut the Ribbon on Renovated Community Theatre on Sept. 2, 2021

PLSN Staff • NewsStage DirectionsTheater News • August 4, 2021

FAIRFIELD, CT.—The Sacred Heart University Community Theatre will celebrate its grand opening Labor Day weekend. A September 2nd ribbon-cutting with town and University officials will precede opening weekend events. Plans for the new, 400-seat SHU Community Theatre include a full slate of events in the theatre as COVID-19 restrictions lift.  First opened as a vaudeville house in 1920, the Sacred Heart University Community Theatre is now a 400-seat cinema and performance space located at 1420 Post Road at the corner of Unquowa and Post roads in Fairfield. It opened as a cutting-edge, for its time, vaudeville and movie house as live acts began to fade and film became the dominant form of entertainment. It operated for the next 90 years in its original form until the big multiplexes began to pop up around town. It fell into disrepair and eventually closed its doors in 2011.

Further information on the SHU Community Theatre: www.shucommunitytheatre.org

In May 2019, SHU partnered with Kleban Properties and the Town of Fairfield to renovate and reopen this long-shuttered theatre as a contemporary arts and education venue and nonprofit.. Over the past year, skilled craftsmen have renovated the former vaudeville and movie theatre, from the expanded stage and proscenium arch to the modern balcony. “The Klebans could have turned this space into a chain coffee shop or department store,” Marie Muhvic, president of the SHU Community Theatre Foundation commented. “Sacred Heart University could have said, ‘We already have a theatre on campus and don’t need to commit to this project.’ Yet both did something that nobody else had done in over a decade. They invested a sizeable amount of resources into purchase, restoration and renovation of the space.”

“The University is excited to officially reopen this Fairfield icon after completing our renovations,” said SHU President John J. Petillo. “We look forward to offering live performances, film festivals, discussions, book talks/signings and much more for members of the SHU community and the community at large. The Sacred Heart University Community Theatre serves as a cornerstone of cultural enrichment to audiences of all ages through entertainment and educational programming, including film screenings, lectures, discussions, live performances and concerts.”

 

 

 

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