Professional Lighting & Production - Summer 2022 - Page 30

A Phoenix Rises from The Ashes

A Phoenix Rises from The Ashes

EDMONTON ’ S NEW

ROXY THEATRE

BY KEVIN YOUNG

Since Edmonton ’ s historic Roxy Theatre was destroyed by a fire in 2015 , everyone involved with the project has been looking forward to the new building ’ s reopening . It ’ s been over seven years since the fire , and in mid-April 2022 , the public got their first look at the new $ 12-million facility on 124 th Street .

Construction on the new build began in 2019 , with hopes that the theatre would be completed in time for the start of the 2020 theatre season . Unsurprisingly , given the trials and challenges of the past two-plus years , however , the project took longer than expected .
In the years between the fire and this much-anticipated reopening , the Theatre Network , which owns and operates the Roxy , hasn ’ t been idle . “ The day after the fire , we were supposed to open a show . We canceled that but carried on with the rest of the season ,” Production Manager Scott Peters explains to Professional Lighting & Production . “ That first year was quite chaotic , trying to find homes for all the shows we were doing . We finished that first season all over the place , but another black box theatre , [ a space formerly occupied by Catalyst Theatre ] beside the Yardbird that is home to the Edmonton Jazz Society , became available , so we were in a real theatre for most of that time .” That space , he adds , they called The Roxy On Gateway .
The newly-constructed Roxy – designed by Group 2 Architecture and Interior Design and built by Chandos Construction – provides more resources for artists and incoming shows to draw on , including two performance venues ( the 200-seat Nancy Power Theatre and the 100-seat black box Lorne Cardinal Theatre ), a rehearsal hall , and a rooftop deck . There are also gallery spaces , including The Miller Art Gallery , which , among other works , will feature a permanent exhibition of works by Jason Carter . The Roxy ’ s iconic sign is also featured as part of the rebuild , with pieces of it incorporated into one of the walls as a nod to the past .
30 | Summer 2022