Emily GirschSep 20, 2017, 10:15 pmSep 21, 2017, 7:42 am

Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank breaks ground on multi-million dollar expansion

The $23M renovation project will double the theater's size and include a performing arts center

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Ground was broken on Wednesday at the Count Basie Theatre for a $23M renovation project which will double the facility's size and include a performing arts center.

"It gives kids hope, it gives kids direction, it gives kids common ground," said E Street Band member Steven van Zandt.

Van Zandt and his wife, Maureen, are members of the theatre's Board of Trustees, and they say that Red Bank is a special place for them.

"Maureen danced here," Van Zandt said. "This was my local movie theater. It's local for us."

The new theater and performing arts center, set to be complete in 2019, will include studios, classrooms and offices in addition to performance spaces.

The renovation project was funded by the community, and the non-profit theater will also receive new air conditioning and heating systems, an elevator, an updated production technologies.

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