The Judy Sneak Peek!

Northwest Children’s Theater invited me to visit The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts during the last phase of construction, and I’m here to spill all the details on this amazing new space.

Images courtesy Northwest Children’s Theater

Northwest Children’s Theater’s new home on Broadway is more than a theater; it’s a creative, multi-use community space that will become part of the fabric of childhood in Portland.

The space is is color-coded and easy to navigate, and there are four main features:

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Family Cinema

Courtesy Northwest Children’s Theater

The 190-seat Family Cinema, in a nod to the historic use of the space, will be home to family-friendly movies, birthday rentals, video game parties, movie sing-alongs, and even live performances.

Studio Space

Courtesy Northwest Children’s Theatre

The Studio Space is where all your favorite award-winning NWCT classes and camps will be held. There are multiple rooms available, from cozy spaces for young children to large, stage-sized areas for older students. Spring break camps will be the first to take place in the Judy, coming this March.

The Stage

Courtesy Northwest Children’s Theatre

The Stage seats 240, and there’s not a bad seat in the house. There’s even an attached parking garage, making downtown access to the theater a breeze. First up on the main stage is Elephant & Piggie: We Are in a Play, opening April 29, along with other opening day festivities.

Black Box

Courtesy Northwest Children’s Theatre

A true black box theatre, this intimate space has adjustable seating for up to 120+, meaning it can be used in myriad creative configurations. Up first in the Black Box is a jazzy, tap-dancing version of Cinderella, coming this May. 

The Judy: Your New Home-Away-From-Home

Northwest Children’s Theater thought of everything for this space: kid-friendly concessions you can actually eat in the theater spaces, sturdy changing tables, gender neutral bathrooms, a maker space, ADA accessibility throughout, and multiple uses for all of the four main areas. 

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Imagine this: You drop your oldest off at a high-quality class, watch a movie while you wait with your youngest, and then you all eat pizza together before going home. The Judy isn’t just a theater; it’s a community hub, a place to house childhood memories for generations. I was incredibly moved by the staff’s enthusiasm for the space and excitement to see their dream come true. Even the contractor was gushing about how special the space is, saying he usually doesn’t get to work so closely with the people who will use the spaces he builds. The Judy is a magical place, and Portland is so lucky to be its home.

There will always be something new and exciting happening in each of the spaces — you’re going to want to spend a lot of time there.

Learn more about The Judy here.

Meg Asby
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