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Sherman Theater Entertainment Rich Berkowitz Stroudsburg Theater Venue

The Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg’s most well-known and oldest venue, is undergoing some major changes as of late. The non-profit theater is undergoing a capital campaign to better the look of the theater, the quality of performances, and the overall concert experience. Renovations have started and will continue to be scheduled, as the theater is gaining more funding for them to happen.

The most obvious renovation can be seen right from Main Street. The Sherman Theater has decided to paint and restore the entire front faade of the building to make it look like it did in the 1920s when it first opened. They will install an added set of double doors to make for a more accessible entranceway to the venue and to better heat or cool the theater depending on the season.

The theater aims to remove the main signs on the building and replace them with a new over-hanging marquee to make it look more authentic. The hope is that this will not only provide shelter from unwanted weather, but also evoke feelings of a grand theater. Theater owner Rich Berkowitz admits that many people walk right by the Sherman Theater. He knows that the new design will make it stand out among the row of buildings it’s situated in.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the new faade is the added box office. It will be a small box office that will be accessible from the street, giving patrons an easy option for ticket purchasing. This idea is very reminiscent of the theater style from the 1920s.

The theater will also add more balconies. According to the Sherman Theater’s Ideas for the Future Campaign, the new mezzanine balconies would increase seating by up to 180 seats. Adding more seating would allow the Theater to schedule larger shows with bigger names. This would also support the cost of booking these acts. As of right now, the theater holds around 1,100 seats or provides room for 1,500 1,600 people standing.

The mezzanine balcony seats would also be removable, so that they could be arranged in different ways to better suit the audience for each show. For example, they can be put into cabaret-style seating, rows of chairs, or can accommodate groups by using dividers.

New pendant chandeliers will also be added to the mezzanine balconies, as well as more VIP boxes to give more patrons a chance to see the show from an optimal viewing point.

The theater also hopes to expand their space by purchasing one of the surrounding buildings on Main Street. With this added space, they will be able to move their offices to make room for the main renovations to the theater. Berkowitz said that they hope to eventually hold classes in the new building.

Backstage, the theater has put in new decks to help get musicians’ equipment off the ground in an efficient and easier way. As it is right now, it’s hard enough to get equipment in the theater because of the large hill it sits on.

Berkowitz pointed out that they have added new curtains to the stage, which gives the main stage a more professional look. They have also expanded their lighting capabilities, which have allowed for acts like the jam band moe. to put on extensive light shows along with their music, which is something that the band is known for.

While the Sherman Theater had been hoping to start renovations for quite some time, Berkowitz explained that they had to make sure the acoustics in the venue were just right before they could work on its appearance.

One thing that makes the Sherman Theater unique is that they have their own soundboard for just that purpose. Most venues have to rent sound equipment for each show, but by having a steady soundboard for each show, the theater saves money, which can be used for other things, such as buying more equipment.

The other added bonus to having their own soundboard is that every show the theater has from Bob Weir to the Sherman Independent Rock Series the same high quality sound is delivered. They can also do live recording of each performance, as well as make a studio recording right there in the theater. This comes in handy for local musicians who are recording for the first time, which is something the Sherman Theater likes to help them achieve.

To further improve the acoustics, the theater avoided extravagant architecture inside the main stage area and seating area. Any outlandish designs would have taken away from the premium acoustics.

Perhaps the most interesting thing the Sherman Theater has done to improve sound is to program each seating layout to its own acoustics sound equivalent. If the theater must take out a large amount of seats for a big name act, obviously the acoustics can change. But with the programmed acoustics set to the layout with a lot of the seats removed, the sound never changes from act to act.

Berkowitz also added that one of the most important things the theater has done to improve is form solid relationships with its performers and their management. In a span of three years, the theater has managed to book numerous large name acts and that number continues to grow. This Sunday, Keller Williams will play, along with musicians Moseley, Droll & Sipe.

He hopes that by booking these kinds of acts, more people will be inclined to support the music and the theater. Berkowitz especially hopes for ESU students to make it to shows. He explained that many students have complained to him about the lack of activities happening in East Stroudsburg. If more people know about the theater, they will be able to enjoy everything it has to offer. Surprisingly, a lot of people living in the area have never heard of the theater. On the other hand, the Sherman Theater had concert-goers coming from over thirty states last year.

Berkowitz emphasized the need for quality arts and entertainment in the area. This is the main reason for the renovations to the theater. Of course, the acts that have come in the past have provided enjoyment, but there are still many people who don’t realize what they have in the Poconos. By improving the theater, we can improve our entertainment, and by doing so, help our community grow culturally and artistically.

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