Brookline, MA – Groom Construction, Co., Inc. recently announced that construction and expansion of the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline is moving forward on schedule and erection of steel by the building team is underway.
The expansion and renovation plan, led by Boston firm Höweler + Yoon Architecture, has been in the works for nearly a decade and broke ground last November. It is expected to be completed in early 2023.
“Our team has enjoyed working hand in hand with Coolidge Theatre leadership and the design team as the project progressed over the past two years. It’s immensely gratifying to be involved since project inception and play a key role in the restoration and expansion of this historic landmark theater in the center of downtown Brookline,” said David Groom, principal, Groom Construction. “We are working closely with the talented architectural team of Höweler + Yoon and the Theatre Board members to retain the 1933 cinema’s art deco features and overall feel, while adding modern amenities.”
The building, originally designed as a church, was constructed in 1906.
“We looked closely at the original Coolidge theater, with its geometrical motifs and rich color palette, and we re-interpreted those elements to craft a new Coolidge so it resonates with the historic theater, but also with the present moment,” said Höweler + Yoon Architecture’s co-founder and partner, Eric Höweler.
The expansion includes a new lobby and relocates the theater’s main entrance to the Centre Street parking lot at the back of the building. An expanded second story and a new third story will house two new theaters, one seating 150 and the other seating 57, and a Community Education and Engagement Center. The expansion raises the total number of screening rooms to six and the total number of Coolidge seats from 729 to over 900. The Community Education and Engagement Center will accommodate both classroom and reception settings and includes an outdoor roof deck.
Groom noted that much of the construction involves working in occupied spaces, given the Coolidge’s need to remain open for business as usual throughout construction, while ensuring a safe environment for all.
“David Groom and his team have been exemplary partners with the Coolidge Corner Theatre Board and staff for over two years as we progressed through the design, permitting, preconstruction and construction phases of this exciting expansion project. We look forward to a productive continuation of this relationship through construction completion in early 2023 and a grand celebration of our collective contribution to the civic and cultural life of Brookline and Greater Boston,” said Michael Maynard, president and board chair of Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation.
“We knew from the outset that David Groom and his team are uniquely qualified to build the expansion. They have deep, relevant construction experience and a community orientation that is perfectly aligned with the mission of the Coolidge to entertain, inform and engage, building vital community through film culture,” said Katherine Tallman, executive director and CEO of Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation. “We look forward to celebrating the success of the project and their significant contributions.”