HOUSTON -- It has been years -- 47 in fact -- since the Alley Theatre has seen any major changes made to its venue.
Now 47 years and $46.5 million later, the theatre is unveiling its transformed venue from the trap room under the stage to bars and private rooms on the top floor.
Among the most noticeable changes are the theatre seats. There are 50 fewer of them, but they are closer to the stage. The updated bathrooms are also larger, and the new LED lighting throughout the venue is wired to change colors. The circular lobby and staircases open up the venue, allowing theatergoers easy access to all its levels.
Behind the scenes is a fly loft, which managing director Dean Gladden said allows for better scene changes throughout a production. It holds up to a ton and moves 6 feet per second. A trap room underneath the stage can be converted into a 40-person orchestra pit and has a large elevator for moving items up to the stage. Dressing rooms have undergone renovations as well, allowing the actors more spacious and updated facilities.
The Alley Theatre is hosting a public open house at 10 a.m. Saturday. Its first play in the renovated venue -- "One Man, Two Guvnors" -- begins Oct. 2.
For more information on the Alley Theatre's renovations and new season, visit its website.