Eco-Friendly Theater Opening on Broadway: Henry Miller’s Theater Reopens LEED Certified by Lesley Almeida

On Broadway, the show must go on. But this fall at Henry Miller’s Theater, for the first time ever, the show is going green.

On Sept. 10, the Henry Miller Theater will reopen its newly green doors with a production of the musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” put on by the Roundabout Theater Company.

Henry Miller’s Theater has not operated as a legitimate Broadway venue since its conversion to a cinema in 1969. It opened in 1918, and at its height, the theater was host to Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning acts, boasted the biggest names of the stage and enjoyed decades of impressive theater .

Yet over the years, the theater saw a sharp decline. Henry Miller’s Theater became home to seedy cinema and the Kit Kat Club, a disco and dance club.

It wasn’t until the 1998 Roundabout Theater Company’s performance of “Cabaret” that Henry Miller’s Theater saw any improvements. Since then, the Durst Organization along with Bank of America have taken on the rebuilding and revival of the theater. And they’ve done it with a nod to the green movement, creating the first ever LEED rated performance space.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized certification system, according to the organization’s web site, which is hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The rating system measures how a building performs in energy and water efficiency, CO2 emission reduction as well as its use of resources and building materials.

According to the web site, “LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.”

At Henry Miller’s Theater, they achieved this certification by locally sourcing 25 percent of materials and replacing 45 percent of the foundation’s cement with blast furnace slag, which will significantly reduce CO2 emissions . In addition, 85 percent of all demolition debris was recycled, and an under-slab drainage system was installed to capture groundwater and recycle it into the building’s water system.

The 50,000-square-foot theater holds 1,055 seats, and still has the original 1918 neo-Georgian façade intact. The restoration construction was build behind the original façade, a New York City historical landmark.

Previews for Roundabouts first show will begin on Sept. 10, and opening night is set for Oct. 15. The new Henry Miller’s Theater is setting the standard for Broadway to join in the environmental movement. It is an important first act at an appropriately historical theater. Hopefully, the scene will close on more of Broadway’s landmark stages joining in the green chorus. (Source Cited)

For more information, please visit www.beacauseaction.com or www.mygreenclick.com May is National Preservation Month: Look To The Future By Taking Care of The Past by Lesley Almeida>

by Lesley Almeida
Lesley Almeida is a vegetarian and social activist, working to make positive changes for the environment and animal and human rights through her writing. Working as a freelance journalist for several online green networks, Lesley also supports the world wildlife organization and environmental sustainability in developing nations. She graduated from Fairfield University in 2008 and currently resides in New Jersey.