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New Seats Installed in the Algonquin; Grand Re-Opening Set for October 24

October 13, 2014

Three-Day Installation Completed on Sunday, October 12

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MANASQUAN, N.J. (October 13, 2014) � For the first time since 1938, Manasquan's Algonquin Arts Theatre has new seats.

On Sunday, October 12, contractors from Irwin Seating Company - the same company that manufactured the theatre's original seats 76 years ago - tightened the final bolts on the 517 state-of-the-art seats that arrived from the factory two days earlier.

In the coming days, finishing touches to the theatre including new aisle lighting, carpeting and paint will be completed. The theatre's Grand Re-Opening comes Friday, October 24, when the Irving Berlin musical "Annie Get Your Gun" takes the stage for the first of seven performances starring Broadway actress Carter Calvert.

"We're extremely excited about the new seats as we kick off a great season," said Algonquin Arts Theatre executive director William Whitefield. "In addition to seeing a great show, we want to continue to make the theatre experience more enjoyable. Our seating needed an upgrade, and the increased comfort is a big step forward."

The original seats were removed in early September, and the aisle ends and arms were shipped to Irwin's factory in Grand Rapids, Mich., for refurbishing. The aisle ends, which were formerly all black, have been carefully painted maroon with gold detail highlighting the original art deco design. The wooden arm rests were also refinished before they were installed.

New seats bottoms, seat backs, floor anchors and standards � the part of the chairs that hold the pieces together � were all installed. Some of the new seats are specially designed to be removed to provide positions for wheelchairs, and four aisle seats include arms that fold up to allow easier access to the seat.

The project was funded by the generous contributions of individuals and organizations around the community to the theatre's Take A Seat Campaign. A recognition plate will be attached to each sponsored seat with a custom inscription created by each donor. Donors to the project have been invited to an exclusive special ribbon cutting ceremony on October 22.

Approximately two-thirds of the seats will receive recognition plates before the opening, and naming opportunities remain. All funds raised moving forward will support additional facility improvements that support high quality performing arts and education programming that brings more than 35,000 patrons through the doors each year. To name a seat and join the Take a Seat Campaign, please contact Teresa Staub, Senior Director of Development, at 732-528-4336.

About Algonquin Arts Theatre:
Algonquin Arts Theatre (AAT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1992 with the mission to provide cultural enhancement and arts education to all audiences at the Jersey Shore through high-quality performances and programs in theatre, music, film and dance. The end goal is to foster appreciation of the arts and promote lifelong learning, particularly among underserved audiences including the economically disadvantaged, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.

Algonquin Arts Theatre's programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; by funds from the Paul F. Zito, M.D. Educational Foundation, by Simon Kaufman, Esq. & Maria Zito-Kaufman, and by Manasquan Savings Bank.