The Walt Whitman interior under construction circa 1953
The Walt Whitman Theatre, circa 1978
The original color scheme was a variety of blue walls, an aqua-blue combination split-and-fly Grand Curtain and maroon seats and rug. The theater has strong art-deco overtones, with broad curves and brushed aluminum railings. The impressive curved lighting soffits which arch across the entire ceiling within widening rings, echo that most famous of theatres, Radio City Music Hall.
In the mid-eighties, the color design was redone to the earth-tones, keeping the seat and rug maroon variations. The ceiling remained cream in both color schemes. The Grand Curtain or "main rag" as it is affectionately called by theatre folk, was also changed from a wine-red Austrian Puff (as seen in the above black and white photo) to the present rich, wine-velvet curtain which was installed as part of the 2006 refurbishment project.
Both the mezzanine and the balcony were designed so that they can be curtained off for engagements that require a more intimate atmosphere.
Near the top of the picture above the proscenium, can be seen the grating that allowed the sound to be projected from the "speaker loft" into the theatre. These openings were eliminated with the refurbishment and speakers systems are now hung right and left of the proscenium. Also visible at the very top of the picture, are two of the three lighting coves -- cutouts in the ceiling where lighting instruments are housed that light the front area of the orchestra pit and the Great Stage.
The Walt Whitman Theatre, after the 2006 Renovation