Mission and Vision Statement for The Sanctuary
Mission: To make the arts easily accessible to those who otherwise might not be afforded the opportunity.
Tagline: Create – Imagine – Transform
Vision: The vision of The Sanctuary is to create, produce and present productions that allow audiences from all walks of life to see themselves reflected and transformed through the prism of art.
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We're going green! Rental inquiries for The Sanctuary are now done online! For Sanctuary Rental Inquiries, please fill out our Online Rental Request Form by clicking HERE!
What is the Sanctuary?
Located in what was then a German-American section of Harlem, the Regent Theatre was architect Thomas W. Lamb’s first large “all picture house” and opened in February 1913. Behind the Regent’s Venetian palazzo exterior was a Spanish-Moorish auditorium, decorated in gold, blue and red, with satin wall panels and dark blue carpets. A ceiling mural above the proscenium depicted “The Surrender of Granada”, as envisioned by painter Francisco Pradillo.
Despite its opulence, the Regent Theatre was an almost instant disaster, causing owner Henry Marvin to summon up-and-coming impresario S.L. Rothafel to the rescue. He closed the Regent Theatre for several months while he changed some of the interior furnishings, installed potted plants, new stage lighting and curtains, and hired a symphony-sized orchestra to play music that was specially arranged to match the movies.
When the Regent Theatre re-opened in December with “The Last Days of Pompeii”, the ‘Roxy’-produced programs became the talk of New York. The Regent Theatre continued to flourish and benefited from a take-over by B.S. Moss, who added Keith-Albee vaudeville to support the movies. Due to that connection, the theatre eventually became the RKO Regent and went through some minor “modernizations” in 1939 and 1944.
The RKO Regent Theatre closed as a movie house in 1963 and was bought by First Corinthian Baptist Church in 1964.
The Sanctuary offers a variety of rooms for hire to suit almost any occasion, from meetings, conferences, and exhibitions to rehearsals, auditions, filming, recitals, and concerts. Ground floor rooms are all accessible to disabled persons.
Spaces for rent include:
- The Sanctuary Performance Hall (Seats 1,600)
- Clark Board Room (200 square feet; Seats 20)
- Lounge/Gallery (960 square feet; Capacity 30)
- McKenzie Hall (1440 Sq. Ft.; Seats 100)
- Meditation Room
- Green Rooms
A sample of previous events held at "The Sanctuary" include:
- Jazz at Lincoln Center
- Kim Burrell in Concert
- Daniel Beaty in the play "Mr. Joy"
- Broadway Inspirational Voices