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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

The Ridgefield Playhouse, Connecticut

Recently I was introduced to the Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut. I can't say that I stumbled upon it, but rather I received an email from an enterprising intern from the not-for-profit organization. Apparently, the multipurpose facility regularly presents classic films, the latest being Billy Wilder's, Some Like It Hot. Intrigued, I decided to do a little research on the web to find out more. Why not just email the intern back and ask all my questions, you might ask. Because I wanted to see if I could find all I wanted to know about the theatre by just "Googling" it. And indeed there is a lot to be discovered regarding the Ridgefield Playhouse.

Whether as a backlash to the age of multiplexes and stadiums, or because of need (there's only one other movie theater in town), the Ridgefield is one of those wonderful old barn theaters that's been renovated into a state of the art venue with near-perfect acoustics! Designed in 1938, the auditorium in “the old high school” was at one time the center of Ridgefield’s cultural life, before being abandoned in 1972. In its new life, the Playhouse has been designed to embrace its former role and more. The interior preserves the hall’s excellent acoustics that make it an ideal venue for musical performance and live theater. And there are retractable draperies cover the walls enabling the “deadening” effect needed for the presentation of movies.

With the ability to accommodate up to 500, Ridgefield's hub for all things entertainment presents a variety of performing arts to the community and the surrounding area of 25, 000 residents. Not just a home for films, plays and musical performances are offered by national as well as local artists. When the theater isn't hosting the likes of Clint Black, The Doobie Brothers, Brian Wilson, or Diana Krall, film-goers are treated to unique cinema experiences, such as question and answer sessions with the movie industries finest, including Ron Howard, Harvey Keitel, Tim Robbins, Barry Levinson and more. The film society is very busy indeed organizing events, screening narrative features and documentary films.

And the entertainment isn't restricted just to the stage. The building itself is a lovely site to see. When you visit be sure to give yourself enough time to check out the mural covering the lobby walls. It's a real work of art featuring scenes of historic Ridgefield. All in all a visit to the Ridgefield Playhouse gives guests an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and indulge in the old fashioned pleasure of a night at the theater. Here's hoping for more renovations of broken down barns everywhere.

Use the above image as a link to a full schedule of events at the Ridgefield Playhouse.

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