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Colonial Theatre to reopen in spring 2018 as tryout stop for Broadway shows

Renovations continue

Rendering via Elkus Manfredi Architects

The 117-year-old Colonial Theatre in Boston’s Theater District is expected to reopen in June 2018 with a world-premiere musical adaptation of the film Moulin Rouge.

The announcement—made official during a November 1 event with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh—marks a major comeback for the landmark and signals operator Ambassador Theatre Group’s intention to use the Colonial to once again make Boston a tryout stop for shows hoping to land on New York’s Broadway.

Recall that the theater has been closed since October 2015. Emerson College, which has owned it since 2006, had at one point mulled turning the Colonial into a student activity center dominated by a dining hall.

A great cry arose from students, alumni, and others that changed the school’s mind in early 2016. Emerson instead opted to redevelop other property.

In January 2017, the school struck a deal with London-based Ambassador to operate the venue. The new operator originally planned a reopening in January 2018.

Renovation work, though, continues. That work will result in a new lounge and a new dressing-room wing as well as roomier seats and seats accessible to those with physical challenges.

The renovations, which Elkus Manfredi is overseeing, are also supposed to improve the sound and lighting.

Places, please.