Rex Theater, Manchester

During the successful partnership between the Manchester Development Corporation, the Palace Theatre Trust, Dennis Mires The Architects, and Cornerstone PDC LLC conducted the renovation of the 300-seat venue in 10 months. Unforeseen conditions linked to renovating a century old building led to structural reinforcements. When the building was transformed into a movie theatre to be opened in 1940, a new balcony was installed, but the supporting columns were not anchored into foundations. In addition, it was discovered that the roof deck needed to be entirely replaced.

Dennis Mires The Architects’ design intent was to keep the history of the building while providing a functional, flexible and contemporary “black box”. The front façade is a play in contrast animated by the marquee and canopy lights. The interior prioritizes the masonry walls while bringing the blue color of the exterior light through well placed accents. The design of the carpet pattern in the house provides a PR buzz as it represents the East/West streets of Manchester, NH and the green spaces / parks between Bridge and Valley streets. The two blue carpet tiles locate the city blocks of the Rex and Palace theatres.

The diversity and quantity of live events held since the opening in November 2019 are a testament to the versatility of the theatre. The reviews of the space and of the acoustics have been glowing. The Rex Theatre is taking its rightful place within the community, impacting the city culturally and economically.