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Meet The Judy, Portland’s new family arts center

Once upon a time, it was a humble movie theater on Broadway. Now, it’s about to become a dynamic new arts hub.

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a lobby under construction

The lobby of The Judy under construction.

Photo by David Kinder

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Northwest Children’s Theater is moving to Broadway. 🎤 On Saturday, April 29, The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts (aka “The Judy”) will open its doors on 1000 Broadway as Portland’s new go-to center for arts performances, education, and special events for all ages.

The move has been a long time coming. Over the last three decades, NWCT has entertained and educated over a million kids, parents, grandparents, teachers, and students. In order to keep pace with its growth, NWCT knew it was time for a new home.

Enter: The Judy, a new space in an old place.

A black-and-white film photograph of an art deco movie house on a rainy night in Portland in 1929.

What the exterior of the Broadway Theatre looked like in 1929 — peep the cool old cars.

Photo via Wikipedia

About The Judy

1000 Broadway has a long history as an arts space. The lot was formerly home to The Broadway Theatre, an art deco movie house opened in 1929. After its planned renovation fell through, the theatre was demolished in the mid-80s and replaced with 1000 Broadway, a 24-story office building that included a fourplex movie theater that operated through 2011.

Now, the former fourplex will become The Judy’s new spaces:

  • The Stage: A traditional proscenium-style (read: the part of the stage in front of a curtain) performance space that seats 240.
  • The Black Box: A flexible performance space with 120 seats that can be set up a variety of ways for creative productions.
  • The Studios: Three flexible rooms that can be used for classes, camps + rehearsals, each with a built-in sound system and theatrical lighting.
  • The Cinema: The Judy’s very own 190-seat movie theater, which will host Family Movie Nights on Friday evenings, weekend matinees + other special screenings.

Bonus: With its on-site maker space, full concession area + attached parking garage, The Judy will also offer rental and partnership opportunities (think: birthday parties, office celebrations + more). 👀

A group of female dancers in costume during a performance of "Cinderella."

A still shot of a past production of NWCT’s “Cinderella.”

Photo by David Kinder

See it for yourself

Don’t miss the free Grand Opening Event on Saturday, April 29 from 12-1:30 p.m., and mark your calendar for its first round of upcoming shows: “Elephants & Piggies: “We Are in a Play!” (April 29-May 28), and “Cinderella” (May 5-May 21), plus spring break camps, spring classes and summer camps. 🎟️ *

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