Founded in 1978 as the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, owned and operated by the actor himself, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre has lived several lives. The landmark building was renovated in 2003 and reopened under its current name in 2004. Andrew Kato—who started at the theater in 1982 as a waiter, eventually returning in his current role as producing artistic director and chief executive—witnessed it all firsthand and is excited for what’s to come as the theater reopens this month following a $36 million expansion.
“The idea of doing this buildout came from a five-year strategic plan that identified ways the Maltz Jupiter Theatre hoped to grow,” Kato explains. “All of the objectives required facility expansion to accomplish.”
The expansion will allow the Maltz to preview shows in Jupiter before they go on to Broadway and other venues. Additional enhancements include doubling the size of the Goldner Conservatory and constructing a 199-seat black box theater, two elements that will enable the Maltz to increase its arts and education programs and diversify offerings to include new works and alternative theater.
Of course, the high production values and “Broadway quality” guest experience that patrons know and love will remain intact, as the main audience chamber is unchanged. “Most of the changes improved the backstage experience, including a Broadway-scaled stage and three stories of production support space,” Kato explains. Behind the scenes, the expansion meant a new state-of-the-art space in which to work.
“Buildings are brick and mortar—it’s the people who come together to do the work that makes an organization great,” Kato says. “I think the new building will be a source of community pride not only in its physical beauty, but also in its ability to serve many different community members.”