Emerson College
Cutler Majestic TheatreCutler Majestic Theatre
© Bruce Martin
© Bruce Martin
© Bruce Martin

Emerson College, Cutler Majestic Theatre

Boston, Massachusetts

The renovation of the Beaux Arts-style Cutler Majestic Theatre, built in 1903, is a prime example of historic renovation at work. The once-neglected space required careful and detailed work in order to restore it to its former glory.

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander was selected by the college and the architect to consult on all areas of theatre design. One of several design challenges lay in revising the seating layout to provide better sightlines and a more comfortable experience for the audience within the context of the historic facility. This was accomplished by moving the entry aisles to the sides to allow a steeper rake at the back of the auditorium, and adding a cross aisle for better public circulation and handicap accessibility. The usable stage area was expanded by an additional five feet of clear stage depth by removing an HVAC duct on the back wall, and an upstage crossover catwalk at the gallery level. A crossover was provided in the new construction upstage of the historic back wall. Lighting systems were updated to reflect present technology, while the flying system was designed with both hemp and sandbag, and a counterweight flying system, providing the unique ability for both regional theatre and Broadway-style standard systems.

Architect: Elkus | Manfredi
Acoustics: Kirkegaard Associates
Completion: 2003