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The Huntridge Theater

Awards Category

Unbuilt Architecture

Project Summary

Las Vegas native and real estate developer J Dapper, purchased the Huntridge Theater in Downtown Las Vegas in March of 2021 with strong community support. Alongside SoHo Playhouse and potential partners and visionaries, Dapper Companies aims to bring concerts, performing arts, dining and creative spaces to this historic venue. Dapper Companies engaged Gensler to design something unique that pays homage to the building’s original design, while at the same time creating a modern feel that will bring the Huntridge Theater back to its former glory after lying abandoned for 20 years. The new and improved Huntridge will advance theatrical arts through a varied repertoire of live music, Off-Broadway performances and cutting-edge artist works that will educate and strengthen the Las Vegas community and culture, and invite audiences from all over the world to enjoy in its vibrant history.

Project Narrative

The Huntridge Theater is deeply rooted in the history and culture of Las Vegas. It was originally designed in 1944 by architect S. Charles Lee, a distinguished west coast theater designer who also designed the Hollywood Melrose Hotel and Fox Theater in Beverly Hills. In 1951, civil rights activist and president of Nevada Theater Corporation, Lloyd Katz, became the operator and made it the first racially integrated movie theater in Nevada. Through the years, the Huntridge Theater has been added to three historical registries: the National Register of Historic Places (1993), the State Register of Historic Places (1999), and the City of Las Vegas Historic Register (2021). “The theater was designed in 1944, and at the time it was recalling streamline moderne design style, which is based on art deco. There are certain historical aspects that can be preserved and worked into the renovation. The challenge is to not take the new design too far and, instead, maintain the soul of the room.” - Brett Robillard, Principal, Gensler Along with the renovation of the original 1150-seat main concert hall, several other theater spaces will be added. The additions will include a 450-seat theater, a 200-seat black box, and a 100-seat cabaret theater. Adjacent to these spaces, the new design also includes a restaurant/bar space that will support the entertainment experience. Our team did extensive research on the history and unique attributes of the theatre to create a design that pays homage to the original space and allows nostalgia to emulate throughout. For example, we successfully replicated the authentic paint hues of the Huntridge Theater and seamlessly integrated them into the restoration plan. The Huntridge Theater restoration project represents a significant investment in the cultural heritage of Las Vegas and will provide new opportunities for entertainment, education, and community engagement. Upon completion, the Huntridge Theater will energize the Downtown Las Vegas area by bringing a missing “off-Broadway” element to the entertainment capital of the world. SoHo Playhouse will be the theater’s sole operator and will bring diverse programming including theater, comedy, concerts, dance and circus performances. The group also plans to host community workshops. “We couldn't be more excited to be chosen as the sole operators of the historic Huntridge Theater. We understand the significance of operating a venue with such a storied tradition in Las Vegas and have experienced the passion residents past and present share about performances they attended there when it was a movie theater and concert venue. Our goal at SoHo Playhouse is to bring new creative experience to the community, creating new memories for residents of every age and background.” - Darren Lee Cole, Artistic Director, SoHo Playhouse.

Sustainable Design & Materials

Describe how sustainability and building performance are woven into your design objectives. Additionally, document specific material selections that prioritize environmental quality. -Existing façade 90% façade is kept, historical preservation techniques to repair the façade. -Al most all existing structure was kept in place. -Most of the building envelope is being updated to meet the current energy code requirements, including white roofs throughout. -Mechanical System: energy recovery system. -All new LED lighting. -Low flow plumbing or no flow plumbing units. -Appropriate use of desert landscape design and adding additional landscape elements in the parking area as to reduce the heat island effect. -Materiality: reuse the concrete floor when possible. -Terrazzo flooring: LV to check sustainability aspects of it. -Main theater space keeps the existing finishes and adds mostly acoustical materials as to save in new finish materials.

Project Stats

Square Feet


Green Building Designation(s)

Date of Completion

Project Location

1208 E Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89104

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