The Hangar Theatre is a professional regional summer theatre located in Ithaca, NY that opened in 1975 in an abandoned municipal airplane hangar.

The theatre and lobby spaces are located in the main hangar with back of house and public facilities located in the east wing.


With the maturation and growth of the theatre functions and productions the Hangar wanted to improve their facilities to be able to appropriately accommodate and match the quality of the performances and the artists involved. The current facility can only be used seasonally; as it is unheated and lacks insulation so while the theatre currently offers year-round events it utilizes alternative off-site venues from September through May. Additionally, the building's location in the flood plain of the Cayuga Lake basin has made it vulnerable and subject to flooding each season.


The project started with a feasibility study to determine whether it was sensible and feasible to consider the continued use of the facility. This study looked at renovation of the existing structure, addition and renovation of the existing structure, replacement of the existing structure on the same site, or a new facility on an alternate site. The final determination was to renovate the existing, design and documents proceeded about a year after the preliminary study.


The goals of the project were to improve the back of house and theatre finishes and functionality, to reduce to the greatest extent possible the incident of flooding and to winterize the facility for year round use. The project replaces all the theatre seats, rebuilds the theatre stage, reorganizes the lobby and entrances to the building, including concessions and the ticket office; completely reorganizes the back of house dressing rooms, diva room, actors bathrooms, green room and supporting offices, laundry, scene shops, costume shop; and doubles the capacity of public toilet rooms. The design also plans for a future black box addition.


For more information about this project contact Steve Hugo, AIA:

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