• Shea’s Performing Arts Center Stagehouse Expansion


Built in 1926 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 3,200-seat movie palace was designed after Europe’s ornate opera houses; the theater’s shallow stage was originally designed for movie projection and vaudeville acts. In 1997 Kideney Architects designed the expansion of the stagehouse to accommodate traveling Broadway shows. Because of its historic nature, the restoration required collaboration with the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) throughout the design process. Kideney Architects has been the architect of record for several phases of Shea’s restorations; the various projects have focused on restoring Shea’s to its original splendor, while rehabilitating and upgrading the facility with respect to the building envelope, acoustical improvements and sound system design, stage and dressing room HVAC systems, and building code compliance and accessibility issues.

Completed projects include:

  • Master Plan and Feasibility Study (1993)
  • Main Street Marquee and Arched Window (1994)
  • Stagehouse Expansion (1997)
  • Restoration of House Exterior (2000)
  • Seating Reconfiguration and Wheelchair Positions (2001)
  • Grand Lobby Door Restoration (2002)
  • East Wall and Main Street Restoration (2003 and 2004)

Scope of Services

  • Authored Shea’s Performing Arts Center Master Plan and Restoration Feasibility Study
  • Architectural and interior design and construction documents
  • Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection, structural and civil engineering design and construction documents
  • Theater design services (rigging and stage lighting systems)
  • Acoustical design services (sound isolation and sound system design)
  • Survey and construction documents for hazardous materials abatement
  • Full construction administration services, working with owner’s construction manager

Design Features

  • Stage depth increased from 29’ to 55’ to accommodate traveling Broadway shows
  • New gridiron, stage rigging, and stage lighting systems
  • Two-bay loading dock to expedite load-in/load-out
  • Stagehouse and dressing rooms fully air conditioned
  • “Ice storage” HVAC system to preclude running chillers during performances (acoustical improvement)
  • Replacement of stage and house exterior doors with STC-rated doors to isolate street noise
  • New dressing room suites and “star” dressing rooms with accessible elevator