The Garrick Theatre has been an integral part of community life in Bonavista for almost 70 years. Erected in the mid-1940’s, the Garrick was a cinema house that continued to run feature films until 2000. In recent years, the building had become almost derelict and could no longer continue operations under private ownership. The Bonavista Historic Townscape Foundation stepped in and took the Garrick under its wing in 2003. Over the course of various federal grants and sponsorships redevelopment of the building began. The theatre first received a new exterior envelope that saved it from further deterioration and over a period of several years the entire facility was renovated, upgraded and extended to create a modern multipurpose arts facility.
The first extension provided accessible washrooms and building service areas and extended the original lobby to add a coat check and refreshment service area. The second extension caters to the Garrick’s new function, that of a venue for live performance. This extension created a backstage area behind the existing proscenium, providing actors facilities, storage and costume areas.
The Garrick Theatre offers theatre style seating to over 200 patrons for feature films and live performance. It has 35mm film and digital projection equipment, Dolby surround sound, and a removable parabolic screen. The theatre’s décor reflect its art deco cinema roots, and is acoustically tuned for dramatic and musical productions. Catwalks installed within the original truss lines of the old building access state-of-the-art theatre lighting. Separate sound and lighting production booths are provided at the back of the house, at either side of the original projection booth.
CLIENT: The Bonavista Historic Townscape Foundation
LOCATION: Bonavista, Newfoundland
STATUS: Completed 2010