The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
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Old Saybrook Town Hall and Theater
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in 2011
|Location||300 Main St., Old Saybrook, Connecticut|
|Area||1 acre (0.40 ha)|
|Architect||Roe, William L. Jr. ; Sweeney, James|
|Architectural style||Colonial Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||07000558|
|Added to NRHP||June 21, 2007|
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a theater in Old Saybrook, Connecticut that opened in 2009. It is the only theater in the world that is named for Katharine Hepburn, the 4-time Academy Award winning actress.
The building in which the venue is housed dates from circa 1910 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 as Old Saybrook Town Hall and Theater. The property is also known as The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Theatre.
The 250 seat theater has the full backing of the Hepburn Estate and the actress's family. Cynthia McFadden of ABC News, an executor of the Hepburn Estate, is an honorary capital campaign committee member. Hepburn's brother-in-law, Ellsworth Grant, is currently instrumental in helping the Board of Trustees honor the actress with his knowledge of Hepburn and her family. Grant is an author and former Mayor of West Hartford, Connecticut.
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in a historic theater/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theater and a small museum (still under construction) honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.
Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell has said the following about the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center: "It is my pleasure to recognize that one of Connecticut's own is being honored in the naming of an historic building that will perpetuate her legacy. Katharine Hepburn contributed much in her long career in film and theater, not only to Connecticut, but throughout the world. To remember her in this manner is most fitting and I salute the efforts of all those involved."
Connecticut U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd has also recognized the theater in saying: "I commend everyone participating in this grand effort to restore the old Town Hall building in Old Saybrook to create in its place the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, I'm honored that I can lend my name in support of what will be a meaningful and inspiring tribute to our Connecticut treasure, Katharine Hepburn."
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Kate M. Ohno (August 2006). "NRHP Inventory-Nomination: Old Saybrook Town Hall and Theater / The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Theatre" (PDF). National Park Service. and Accompanying seven photos, exterior and interior, from 2006