Restoring a Masterpiece FAQs

The Renovation of the Royal Alexandra Theatre
June to October 2016

When will the renovation take place?
The renovations will begin in late May and continue until October 2016. 

Why are you doing this renovation?
We have listened to our theatre patrons - especially our Subscribers! When the theatre was built in 1907 it was proclaimed to be “the finest, most modern, on the continent.” It is time for the theatre to be updated for 21st Century audiences, so we can offer them the best comfort possible when attending our shows.  It is also an opportunity to restore the theatre to its original beauty.

What will be the first production in the newly renovated Royal Alexandra Theatre?
The brand new musical COME FROM AWAY will be the first production to play the newly renovated theatre.  It is the second show in the 2016/17 Mirvish Subscription Season. We believe it is an appropriate show because it is written by Canadians (the brilliant wife-and-husband composing-and-writing duo of Irene Sankoff and David Hein), about a Canadian subject (the people of Gander, Nfld.) and Broadway-bound. Who could ask for anything more? 

What is being changed?
All the beautiful and elegant elements of the interior, including the beaux-arts influenced plaster mouldings on the balcony fronts and ceiling will be cleaned and restored. 

The capacity of the theatre will be reduced from 1,497 seats down to 1,244 seats.  This will allow for extra legroom throughout all seating areas.  The biggest change will take place in the balcony level (formerly Upper Balcony), which will lose 108 seats.  This will now allow more comfort and plenty of legroom. 

Brand new seats will be installed on all levels.  These will look identical to the original 1907 seats, including the distinctive RA insignia brass seat-end plates.  The seats will be made with the latest technology and cushioning for excellent comfort.  All the seating will be staggered to offer the best sight lines at all levels. 

The rake of the Orchestra level will be restored to its original angle. 

How does this affect my tickets?
The three levels of the theatre will now be named: Orchestra, Dress Circle and Balcony.

Change in sections noted on tickets: Upper Balcony seats will now be marked as Balcony. Balcony seats will now be marked as Dress Circle.

For Subscription: There will be some adjustments to seating because of the reduction in capacity on each level.   Comparable seats to the Princess of Wales Theatre will be assigned. In some cases better seats will be allocated.

Will an elevator be installed?
No.  We have investigated the possibility, but due to the design of the building and rules around heritage protection we can’t install elevator in the theatre.

When will I get my tickets to COME FROM AWAY?
For Subscription: Tickets will be mailed out in June with the production playing in November and December.  Subscribers will have a lot of time to exchange their tickets. 

What will happen to all the old seats?
A limited number of the 1907 seats will be available for sale to Mirvish Subscribers. These will be mounted on a wooden base, feature a brass plaque identifying the seats as authentic and will be accompanied with a certificate of authenticity signed by David Mirvish. Both a single seat and a pair of seats will be available. Click here for full details on how to purchase the old seats.