Originally built in 1927, the Dallas Theater was destroyed by fire and then re-built in 1948. In 1965 the theater closed and was converted to an office building. The interior was gutted and only a few remnants of the original construction remained.
The City of Dallas purchased the building in 1998 with the intention of converting it back to a theater and community auditorium.
The design program was to restore the theater’s original charm and to renovate and update the facility to accommodate a variety of uses such as community theater performances, music productions, movies, meetings, lectures, etc. and to provide a state-of-the-art audio/visual system to attract traveling performance groups.
A new stage structure, auditorium floor structure, and a new balcony structure were required. The updated auditorium and new balcony areas provide seating for 589 persons. A new lobby and new toilet facilities were added.
A 3,000 square-foot, two-story, rear addition provides dressing room and restroom facilities for performers, prop and set storage, mechanical and electrical spaces, and future expansion areas. New finishes, seating, trim, ceiling detailing, and color schemes reminiscent of the original theater have been used throughout. Acoustical, audiovisual, and theatrical lighting were designed to accommodate a variety of performance types.
The Dallas Theater is part of a two-facility venue, along with the Dallas/Paulding County Civic & Cultural Center, owned and operated by the City of Dallas. SWI planned both facilities on infill sites in the heart of the historic downtown district. The facilities are linked to offer pre-function and post-function space for concerts, musicals, theater, and exhibits.
The Dallas Theater won the 2009 BOB Award “Best of the Best” in the category of Historic Preservation given by the Georgia Chapter of the International Interior Design Association.
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