The Beale Street Theater team is currently working on the theater design. We are working with Stages Consultants, LLC. and architect Michael Taylor. We are learning a lot about the technical aspects of designing a theater. This is not like renovating just any building. There are so many aspects to the process it can be overwhelming. Current discussions center around the seat count and layout, line of sight to the stage, accessibility and functionality of the theater as a whole. I want to take a few minutes to fill you all in on some of the decisions we are looking at this week.
There are limitations that come with the existing building structure and layout. There is an additional side building that was added to the theater property that gives us a lot of extra space but because the two properties were not originally connected, the floor levels are not the same. Adding to or taking away from a floor can be very costly so and when you change the floor level in one space, it affects the floor levels everywhere else.
One of the challenges is accessibility. Kingman Center for the Arts wants everyone in the community to have access to the Beale Street Theater and its programming, and not just access, but the best experience we can offer. Getting from the lobby to the auditorium, to the bathrooms and to the backstage area all need to be thought through. Ramps can’t be too steep and there has to be room for maneuvering wheelchairs. The staging consultants have been fabulous and offering many solutions and suggestions to address the shortcomings of the current facility.
Another challenge is line of sight. This has to do with the height of the stage and how that affects the audience view of what is happening on it. How high should the stage be? Do we need to change the slope of the existing floor to give a better audience view of it? The stage floor needs to be at level with the backstage floor which is in the above mentioned side building. It all flows together.
The last aspect we are looking at is seat count. How many seats can we adequately fit into the space? The number of seats we have dictates how much money we can make, but the comfort of the audience and accessibility are important too.
Decisions like these are always tempered by cost of the project. We wish we had the budget to bring a state of the art facility to Kingman. We will do our best to raise needed funds to make our theater great.
More updates to come!