Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ added to National Register of Historic Places

posted by Count Basie Theatre on January 18, 2010 at 7:55 am

RED BANK, NJ — The Count Basie Theatre is pleased to announce that on December 24, 2009 the Director of the National Park Service announced the addition of the Count Basie Theatre to the National Register of Historic Places.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. A treasure trove for professional historians, scholars, and anyone curious about American history, the National Register of Historic Places lists more than 80,000 properties.

Listed under reference number 09001100, the theatre is listed on the Register as the Carlton Theatre, the third of the five names the theatre has had in its 83-year history. Construction on the Red Bank Theater was first announced in 1925. Before it even opened it was renamed the State Theater, and then the Carlton Theater, the name under which it operated from Opening Day, November 11, 1926 until 1973, when the Monmouth County Arts Council acquired the property from the estate of Walter Reade, one of the original partners in the building. The Council operated the theatre as the Monmouth Arts Center until 1984, when it was renamed in honor of Red Bank native, jazz composer, pianist and band leader William “Count” Basie following his death that year.

The Count Basie Theatre, Inc. is the nonprofit corporation that has owned, managed and programmed the theatre since 1999. The theatre has also been listed on the NJ Register, and Numa Saisselin, CEO of the Count Basie Theatre, Inc. said, “The Count Basie Theatre’s listing on the State and Federal Registers of Historic Places is recognition of the theatre’s statewide importance as a place where the community comes together to be entertained and exchange ideas about our common and uncommon experiences. As an organization we’ve been pleased to preserve this historic venue for part of the first 83 years of its history, and we look forward to at least another 83 years if not longer.”

Over 200,000 people attend about 200 live performances of music, dance, theatre and film at the Count Basie Theatre each year, and more than 1,000 students a year participate in arts education classes and workshops at the theatre. The Count Basie Theatre, Inc. has performed $10 million of renovation and restoration projects on its historic buildings since 2004.

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