Historic Count Basie Theater unveils $20M expansion project

The historic Count Basie Theater in Red Bank unveiled a $20 million expansion project.

The historic Count Basie Theater in Red Bank unveiled a $20 million expansion project. (10/26/15)

RED BANK - A historic New Jersey theater is getting a major face-lift.

Officials at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank announced Monday that the 89-year-old facility will get a $20 million expansion over three years that will transform it into an arts, entertainment and education campus spanning a whole block.

Jazz great Count Basie grew up near the theater.

The current theater will receive stage and lighting upgrades, along with a new dressing room, artists' lounge and expansion of the load-in area.

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna says the project is expected to boost the theater's local economic and calls it "a catalyst for economic growth."

Theater officials say the project will be entirely funded by donors and they won't start the project until it's raised. Officials hope to break ground by 2018 or 2019.

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