The Sudbury Theatre Centre says its redesigned auditorium seats will make performances more accessible to more people.
The theatre centre has installed 240 new seats — replacing those that were more than three decades old. The new chairs provide lumbar support, and the auditorium now has eight spots for wheelchairs.
There are also larger seats at the back of the theatre for wider or taller audience members.
"People … want to come out and do things, but we need to make it accessible to the entire population, regardless of physical limitations, financial, whatever the case may be," said Kathy Heimbecker, STC general manager.
Heimbecker said some of the accessible seats also have a swing-out panel for those in wheelchairs who still want to sit in the new theatre seats.
Even though all the seats have now been installed, the STC is still looking for sponsors for 120 more seats. The cost to sponsor a seat is $250.
The theatre centre’s artistic director, David Savoy, said theatre infrastructure is very important to audience members.
"One of the things that they always point out that they don't like are the things like the seats or the washrooms, something like that," he said.
"It's not necessarily about the plays that they see, it's about the physical experience they have in the theatre."