Saint Raphael Academy Opens New Coutu Theater

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Interior Saint Rahael Academy Theatre.
Aaron Usher III Photography

Pawtucket, RI – The Joseph & Blanche Coutu Theater is the latest addition to Saint Raphael Academy’s seven-building, historic campus located in Pawtucket. The new performing arts space was constructed out of what was formerly known as the Dennis M. Lynch, Jr. Memorial Gymnasium. The Coutu Theater and associated renovations include a 300-seat performance space, a 1,600sf art gallery, a renovated ticket booth, restroom facilities and improved storage and set-design space.

Working with the architecture firm, Vision 3 Architects, and construction manager, E. Turgeon Construction Corporation, Saint Raphael Academy now has a performance space like none other in the region—providing a state-of-the-art space for the fine arts. Saint Raphael Academy’s Drama Club, which is a 19-time State Drama Festival winner, now has a space that is worthy of its success.  The design boasts an intimate setting, stadium-style seating, and acoustical design that will make each visit to the Coutu Theater memorable.

This $1.3 million, fully-funded project was made possible through a generous gift from the Joseph C. and Blanche Coutu Foundation, and through the generosity of many other Saint Raphael Academy alumni and supporters.

Pre-construction and site-prep work began over the summer of 2013, as crews began readying the space and bringing the existing structure up to code.  Heavy construction began shortly before the start of the 2013-14 school year and continued into the Christmas season.  The theater officially opened its doors to sold-out performances during the weekend of February 7,2014 for the school’s Grand Opening Gala Weekend.