Feasibility and Pre-Design Analysis   
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Integrated with R.F. McCann & Company’s design approach is the belief that successful theatre projects need well-defined design programming and insight into current profitable performance facility operation and management planning. Assessment of economic feasibility and pre-design project analysis provide a comprehensive workable business plan to aid the client in fund raising and marketing. As theatre architects, we possess the knowledge and understanding of theatre operation and management.

Feasibility studies conducted by R.F. McCann & Company include industry and community levels of research to determine performance and audience markets. Event performance capabilities in commercial and non-profit markets are measured by surveys and interviews taken from industry elites. We analyze the health of the building structure and project its design potentials. Our staff and team of consultants compile a range of alternative models for client consideration, in contrast to one model reflecting one event program format with one goal of annual fiscal performance. Our method of analysis was developed to serve clients by providing current industry standard projections needed to analyze project benefits and risks. R.F. McCann & Company’s feasibility studies give client’s the tool for economic and design programming control necessary for successful theatre operation.

Our portfolio of completed feasibility and pre-design studies includes the Arlene Snitzer Performing Arts Center in Portland, Oregon, the Raymond Theatre for the city of Pasadena, Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia, and the Alex Theatre in the city of Glendale. R.F. McCann & Company continued as architect of record for the latter two studies mentioned.

New Construction                                            (back to top)
Design of new theatres and new additions to existing facilities have been accomplished by R.F. McCann & Company Architects in a variety of urban and suburban settings. New construction is both exciting and challenging, providing the architect and client opportunities to develop cutting-edge design that compliments building use and locale. Technical and aesthetic values for a new theatre and its amenities are fully realized when careful integration of the latest construction technology, specialty equipment, and signature design are achieved. Strategic use of the project budget to accommodate theatre facilities and their operation is R.F. McCann & Company’s specialty. We have produced theatres and other public assembly venues whose futures were uncertain during conception if not for the benefit of an architecture firm with mastery in the theatre industry such as ours. We measure the success of our designs by the amount of repeat attendance by patrons for both touring and resident performing arts presentations. R.F. McCan & Company Architects has the gusto to take design to the edge or look to history for classical appeal. Each theatre presents new challenges and we offer unique and creative solutions.

Adaptive Re-Use     
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Several methods to approaching design are used in architecture. R.F. McCann & Company Architects applies the best method for meeting our client’s objectives for their investment. We apply Adaptive Re-Use design when economic benefits are possible by combining the reuse of an existing theatre structure with improved additions and alterations. This is accomplished by taking historic vignettes from the original construction, integrating those features into the overall composition, creating a unique blend of design character and useful purpose. Theatrical adaptive re-use emphasizes the importance of new theatrical production and building systems within the context of a theatre’s original design and style. Stage equipment, sound, and lighting are major system additions that are essential. Audience sightlines, seating, and overall safety and comfort equal the importance of stage production and accrue equal proportions of the budget. Typical additions may include adding to an existing stagehouse to support modern traveling shows, improved performer facilities and dressing room expansions, and installation of new or renovated auditorium finishes and furnishings.

Owners and operators of adaptive re-use facilities include municipalities and non-profit corporations. Many adapted theatres in our portfolio were initially recognized as undervalued 1200 to 1500 seat facilities in comparison to their replacement cost. These theatre projects have been a redevelopment stimulus in numerous communities where adapted inner city live performance theatres have been followed by other developments of retail, restaurant, parking, and motion picture exhibition theatres. Subsequent developments have thrived on the “critical mass” of audience patrons that theatres draw regularly to attend live production event offerings several days each week.

R.F. McCann & Company Architects has assisted clients, both public and private, to determine audience market and economic benefits in adaptive re-use of specific theatre real estate. Projects categorized as adaptive re-use include the Arlene Snitzer Performing Arts Center in Portland, Oregon, the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, the Alberta Bair Theatre in Billings, Montana, and the Wilshire Theatre in Los Angeles.

Historic Restoration   
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R.F. McCann & Company Architects has specialized in the renovation of historic theatres for 27 years. We have worked with city agencies, individuals, and preservation groups on projects involving a combination of restoration or renovation needs. Historic theatres and amenities generally demand adaptive work to meet current building code regulations. Our approach toward historic theatre renovation begins with research for a clear understanding of that facility’s history and its historic elements. We examine the structural system for seismicity based on its location; we examine adaptive life safety systems for compliance with fire safety and health standards. Modernization of audio and acoustical properties, lighting, seating, concessions, and all related theatre amenities are accomplished skillfully. We are satisfied only when this modern technology, in historic context, is veiled in authentic historic surroundings.

We are trained in understanding the craftsmanship of historic building materials and preserving the original design intent of the building. Design details, both exterior and interior, reflect the rich tradition of historic buildings. R.F. McCann & Company continues that tradition by designing metal fixtures, interior woodwork, masonry, plaster, mosaics, tapestries, and murals - embellishments of our past. With projects that have been designated historic landmarks, our standards exceed the “Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation”. Recognizing that many challenges may be found while in the design process, the results of theatre restoration under experienced and skilled leadership can produce artistic and functional results at costs far less than those required for new construction.