Solar Flair Ahead for Main Street Theater’s Renovating Venue in Rice Village


As site prep starts on the long-awaited renovation of Main Street Theater’s signature building at 2540 Times Blvd. in Rice Village (top), a recent donation by a renewable energy retailer has enabled the local theater company to add a rooftop solar array to the work scope. Although not intended to power the spotlight on stage, the installation is expected to handle a good chunk of daytime electrical use, theater sources say. Descriptions of the future solar installation mention a 64-panel array on the roof and this sun-seeking companion:



a cuff of 13 panels on the mezzanine addition’s south facade. To accommodate the panels, Studio Red Architects has been updating its original plans for the Times Blvd. facade.

Also included in the plan: new thermal glass windows, low-VOC paint, and LED lighting to reduce energy use and heat. The solar panel installation is being integrated into the theater’s renovation project, which has been in development for several years.

MST’s sunshiny windfall came from a $100,000 donation from Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, which supports non-profit use of solar power. Instructional signage in the lobby will explain the installation project to theatergoers.




Interior renovation plans, meanwhile, still call for removing 2 structural pillars on the stage that have long affected staging, lighting, and sightlines, as well as putting in a larger lobby, new and expanded restrooms, new theater seats, a higher roof, dressing rooms, and an expanded second floor and mezzanine for classrooms and rehearsal space.

Renovation will commence once the last of the permits comes through, MST sources said.


Here are a couple of handy “before” views of upper-level conditions, taken from behind the new shrouded fencing at the north end of the building, which abuts the BW3 parking lot:


And from further down Times Blvd.:


Photos: Swamplot inbox. Drawings: Studio Red Architects via Main Street Theater.

Panel Discussion

3 Comment

  • Hopefully the extra solar capacity will allow them to remove the hideous power line drops in front of the place. I still can’t believe Rice Village hasn’t buried those lines.

  • We’ve enjoyed attending plays at the Main Street Theater in the past and look forward to attending many more once the updates are done.

  • My bet is these solar panels will be broken and not replaced within 5-10 years.