Billie Holiday Theatre
Commissioned to renovate a legendary performing arts venue in Brooklyn — “an incredible place” that is “nurturing a new generation of Black playwrights, performers,” according to President Joe Biden — MBB upgraded critical systems to enable the theater to grow its audience and build on its reputation as a cultural powerhouse.
Founded in 1972, The Billie Holiday Theatre has long been a vital part of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. The renovation project was awarded as part of New York City’s Design Excellence Program, with a focus on strengthening the theatre’s bond with the community and the relationship between audience and performer while enhancing its well established identity.
MBB’s renovation of the 3,200 square-foot, 191 seat theater includes a redesign of the house entry and seating, stage geometry, and support spaces. State-of-the-art theatrical systems and accessibility were also incorporated.
When a wall of original, faded performance posters dating back 40 years was uncovered during construction, the posters were scanned and made into wallpaper that now lines the hallway to the green room, linking past and present artists.
Photos ©Francis Dzikowski
Select Publications & Interviews
- Retrofit Magazine | March/April 2018An Icon's Second Act
- Commercial Architecture | August 2018Deliver Value To Cultural Facilities