Kleban Properties LLC has announced plans to team with Sacred Heart University on the renovation and reopening of the Fairfield Community Theater, a 20,083-square-foot venue at 1410 Post Road. The theater opened in 1920 as a vaudeville stage and was a two-screen cineplex when it shut down in 2011. In its next chapter, the theater is set to open in 2020 as the Sacred Heart University Community Theater, combining a performing arts venue with Class-A office spaces.
In a press announcement, Kleban Properties acknowledged the theater is “in need of significant repairs and upgrades,” although its original proscenium arch and beaux arts marquee are still intact. Financial details on the project were still a bit hazy – Kleban Properties acknowledged a “pending acquisition” of the property and added that it “will be looking to the town of Fairfield for assistance in various forms in order to ensure that this exciting opportunity becomes a reality.”
The company is also planning a “Light the Marquee” fundraiser for individuals to contribute to the renovation of the theater’s seating, stage area and amenities, although Kleban also noted the contributions would not be tax deductible.
Al Kleban, president of Kleban Properties, stressed that the theater’s programming will be run by Sacred Heart University, which signed a 10-year lease for the space.
“We welcome the association with Sacred Heart University, a leading national academic institution,” he said. “My family sees no more fitting rebirth of this beloved theater than to see it thrive under the direction of the university, as it continues to support the performing arts and provide the community with entertainment and events in this significant venue for years to come.”