Use These Tips for Starting a Theatre Company


Starting a theatre company is a way to live your dream if you’re an avid theater lover or if you simply enjoy sharing the arts with the rest of the world. From hosting unique performances to creating a sense of belonging among the locals, a theater is an excellent addition to just about any community. If you’re thinking of starting a theatre company, there are a few tips and guidelines to keep in mind to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Install a New Floor

When it comes to starting a theatre company, location is key. Choosing a space that is not only big enough but also welcoming can determine the overall success of your theater operation. Making a first impression is vital when opening a theater to the public. Theaters are known for their atmospheres, decor, and, in some cases, even entire themes.

Installing a new floor is highly recommended, whether you’re building a new theater from the ground up or if you’ve invested in an existing commercial property. From epoxy floor coatings to a new hardwood floor, there are plenty of options to choose from when designing a theater. Working with professionals who specialize in commercial flooring and floor coatings is highly advisable. Professional contractors are well-versed in flooring types, styles, and designs for commercial spaces that are designed for performance and public use.

Maintain Your Facility

Maintaining your facility is imperative when it comes to starting a theatre company. A properly maintained theater is much more likely to appeal to prospective patrons and artists who are interested in booking your venue for future performances. Ongoing maintenance services for commercial properties can help prevent major issues, such as power outages or the inability to access any elevators you have available in your theater. Working with professionals who provide elevator repair services and regular maintenance services will allow you to focus on what matters most when it comes to managing your theater.

Paint Your Exterior

Operating a successful theater requires more than hosting high-quality artists and performers. In order to help your theater stand out, consider updating the exterior of the theater itself. When it comes to starting a theatre company, you may only have one opportunity to make a positive impression on passersby and locals in your community. Painting the exterior of your theater is not only a way to update outdated paint, but it provides a unique opportunity to get a bit creative during the renovation itself.

Working with professional local painters who specialize in updating commercial buildings can help streamline the process. Painters are well-versed in commercial-grade materials and arrive on-site with the proper equipment to get started. When you’re thinking of updating the exterior of your theater with new paint, keep the following in mind:

  • Name of your theater: What is the name of your theater? Do you intend to paint the name of your theater on your building, or will you be using alternative signage? Are you using a specific logo for your theater with particular colors that should be considered when choosing exterior paint?
  • Surrounding buildings: If your theater is located next to other buildings, keep the colors of those properties in mind.
  • Color scheme/theme: When your theater has a logo or a specific color scheme you intend to use on marketing materials, you can select a color scheme for the exterior of your building with ease.
  • Aesthetic: Are you going for a specific aesthetic with the exterior of your theater? What impression do you want to give to individuals when they see your theatre for the first time?

Remodel the Dressing Rooms

Remodeling the dressing rooms is also key when starting a theatre company. Dressing rooms are foundational and necessary whenever you plan to host performances that are available to the public. Performers and artists require dressing rooms to prepare for the stage with makeup, hair, and costumes. If you want your theater to stand out through a drastic transformation, consider remodeling and renovating all of the dressing rooms inside.

Ways to Remodel Dressing Rooms in Theaters

Remodeling the dressing rooms in your theater can help immediately transform the space. This is recommended if you want to create a more inviting space for performers or if you’re interested in implementing a specific theme or color scheme throughout all areas of the theater itself. Updating dressing rooms typically involves investing in new lighting, glass and mirrors, and even painting the walls, and installing new flooring.

Designing vertically in dressing rooms is also advisable, as these spaces are typically much more limited than other rooms in theaters.

Offer Refreshments

Opening a successful theater is possible by immersing yourself in the guest experience. One way to help your theater stand out from surrounding theaters is to consider offering refreshments. Whether you are hosting a local singing contest or an international superstar at your theater, refreshments can be part of the appeal for those who have never attended your theater before.

Offering refreshments for the performances you host is possible with beverages, baked goods, and, depending on your theater’s legal abilities, cocktails. Offering refreshments as an all-inclusive element of purchasing a ticket to any performance your theater hosts can also help to attract newcomers to visit your location.

Types of Refreshments

You can offer a range of refreshments in your theater depending on the type of performances you are hosting, access to commercial kitchen equipment, as well as licenses and legal restrictions that may be required. Some popular refreshments to consider serving to guests and performers at your theater include:

  • Baked goods: Cookies, cakes, and other baked snacks can be the perfect go-to refreshment for afternoon plays.
  • Tea: Teas go well with baked goods and are a great idea whenever you’re hosting an event in the morning or early afternoon
  • Hot foods: Hot foods such as hot dogs, pizza, or pretzels can be served at all times of the day and are even ideal as appetizers or complete meals.
  • Drinks: Drinks such as water, juice, soda, healthy smoothies, and even alcoholic beverages may be served depending on potential legal restrictions or licenses that are required.

Gather Sets and Props

When starting a theatre company, you will need to gather props and pieces of furniture to create sets. Having access to adequate props is imperative for a theater owner, operator, or manager. If you’re new to the theater industry, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the process of gathering props and building sets.

Finding Props for Sets

Finding props for sets is not always simple. However, it does allow for a bit of creative flexibility. Whether you’re searching for 50’s decor or couches for sale, you can visit local thrift stores, big-box retail shops, or even browse online. When you begin searching for props, keep color schemes and themes you want to emulate in mind. This will help save time and prevent you from overspending on items that will not likely be useful in the future.

Renovate the Interior

Renovating the interior of your theater is highly advisable if you have purchased a property that was previously used or occupied. From updating the paint throughout the theater to hiring a professional drywall installation company to construct new rooms, there are many options available when it comes to renovating the interior of any type of theater. A few ways to renovate the interior of your theater might include:

  • Choose a theme: Choosing a theme to use when choosing paint colors, furniture, and decor throughout your theater can help with the renovation process. Once you have selected a theme that is fitting for the type of theater you intend to run, it’s much easier to seek out the items and accessories necessary to bring the space to life.
  • Create an atmosphere with proper lighting: The right lighting can help transform your entire theater. Working with a commercial lighting company is highly recommended when you want to change the overall look and feel of your theater for both performers as well as attendees.
  • Update the seating: Create a brand-new seating chart whenever you’re in the process of renovating your entire theater. A new seating chart provides more flexibility when designing VIP areas, wheelchair-accessible seats, as well as premium seating based on location. Once you have your seating chart designed, you can then begin shopping around for suitable seats.

Install Lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in how your theater’s atmosphere will be enjoyed. Extremely bright lights will likely be off-putting, as a theater’s environment is typically warm, welcoming, and relaxing. Working with a commercial electrical repair company can help you to determine your options based on existing electrical work that is already in place. Installing new lighting can significantly transform the look and feel of your entire theater, regardless of your budget.

Choosing the Lighting for Your Theater

When choosing the type of lighting that is ideal for your theater, consider the type of performances you intend on hosting as well as the demographics you are targeting. Are you interested in dimmers for the theater audience? Will you be installing an LED lighting setup with intricate spotlights and color-changing lights for performances? Reviewing your goals when it comes to installing new lighting will help you find the lighting options that are just right for your theater.

Add Accessibility Features

Starting a theatre company requires considering the accessibility of both your performers and attendees. Accessibility features such as an access ramp or special entrances can also provide more opportunities for those who have a physical disability to visit your theater.

Types of Accessibility Features

When it comes to implementing accessibility features for your theater, it’s important to consider your target audience and the property you have available. If possible, consider updating your parking lot to make it more accessible with wider and handicapped parking spaces. Updating pathways and surrounding sidewalks by expanding them will also make your theater more accessible. Providing wheelchair-accessible seating areas and restrooms can help increase attendance and appeal.

Upgrade Your HVAC

Before you can go about starting a theatre company, you’ll need to ensure that the HVAC system you have in place is in proper working order. HVAC systems are an integral aspect of owning and operating a theater of any size, regardless of its location. Maintaining a comfortable temperature throughout your theater at all times is essential. If patrons or performers feel uncomfortable in your theater, it is less likely to be preferred for future performances.

Once you have a location for your theater, contact a reputable HVAC provider near you that specializes in commercial HVAC solutions. Working with a local AC or furnace installation company is also a way to require ongoing maintenance services. Year-round HVAC maintenance services can prevent potential problems from causing your HVAC system to stop working altogether.

Benefits of HVAC Maintenance Services

As a theater owner or manager, HVAC maintenance services can guarantee your system’s uptime while simultaneously providing you with peace of mind. Ongoing year-round maintenance services provide the following:

  • Regular inspections: Conducting thorough HVAC inspections of your property’s entire system every month, quarterly, or annually is essential as a theater owner. Inspections can help pinpoint problem areas of your HVAC system, ductwork that requires attention, or vents that may need upgrades or updates.
  • Preventative maintenance: If an issue is located in your HVAC system, professional HVAC specialists can address the problem immediately. Preventative maintenance is essential to minimize the risk of losing the ability to use your HVAC system altogether.
  • Optimized equipment: With regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance services, it’s much easier to ensure your equipment remains optimized. Optimizing your air conditioner unit or furnace system will also help to extend the lifespan of the equipment itself.
  • Updates and installation solutions as needed: At times when managing your HVAC system, you may encounter an issue that requires an immediate repair job, update, or a complete replacement. When you are working with a professional HVAC company, determine which repairs, updates, and upgrades are most important based on priority as well as your current budget.

Whenever you are thinking of starting a theatre company, it’s important to cover all of your bases. This will ensure that you are solidly prepared for the endeavor while minimizing the risk of potential setbacks. While starting a theatre company is no easy feat, it is possible with enough commitment, passion, and dedication to the process itself.

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