It was almost unveiled last March – but – the pandemic hit forcing Saint John Theatre Company to hold off on the announcement. That – as Stephen Tobias of the S-J-T-C says ended up giving them the luxury of time to rethink the plans to meet demands of a post pandemic era and future proof the concept.
Today – Tobias and S-J-T-C chair Brian Goodwin unveiled the revised plans that include an addition on the back side of the building – a new entrance and lobby – plus a 220-seat theatre on the second floor – and public access to the 200-year old building’s spiral staircases.
Tobias says it fills a gap between the company’s much smaller BMO theatre on Princess Street and the 900-seat Imperial Theatre. He says there is still a lot of work before a final plan and cost estimates are in place including approval from the city’s Heritage Board and meeting current building code requirements. Tobias estimates construction would take about two years once final approvals – plans – and funding are in place.
The federal government has invested 2.5-million dollars to help get the project to this stage while the provincial government has turned over ownership of the property to the Saint John Theatre Company.