The YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts of the Great South Bay YMCA seeks to establish itself as a premier cultural institution on Long Island. The YMCA Boulton Center’s mission is to provide high quality arts programs that entertain, educate and inspire the culturally, racially and economically diverse population of Long Island. A wide range of programs and classes are offered across the arts spectrum including music, dance, film and spoken word. Particular emphasis is placed on education and outreach.
As economic conditions threaten to cause deep cuts school arts and cultural programs, YMCAs around the nation are now developing cultural programs to meet the unmet cultural needs of their communities. The YMCA mission places great emphasis on developing spirit, mind and body. It is our view that the arts are an integral part of that triangle. At our own Great South Bay YMCA, we have introduced cultural arts programs in our free pre-teen and teen centers, as well as in our traditional fee based programming to a receptive and growing audience.
The opening of the YMCA Boulton Center will provide the Great South Bay YMCA with a state of the art venue for expanded cultural arts offerings, enabling us to enrich the lives of the Long Island community.
The YMCA Boulton Center has been constructed within the former Regent Movie Theater (@1929), located on Main Street Bay Shore, New York. After a “golden age” that extended through the 1960s, the Regent saw some very unhappy years and finally closed it doors in the late eighties. Years later, the shuttered theater was purchased by local philanthropists Frank and Karen Boulton and was gifted to the Great South Bay YMCA in December of 1997. Construction on the two million dollar YMCA Boulton Center was completed in December of 2003
The 261 seat stadium style theater offers the audience and performers an intimate environment and excellent site lines. The stage is 25 feet deep and 40 feet wide; there are backstage dressing rooms. The first floor main lobby is graced by an elegant concession stand. Rest rooms, office space and a ticket booth take up the remainder of the first floor space. Lighting, sound and projection booths are located on the second floor. There is also a 1,000 square foot multiple purpose space that can be used for classes, rehearsal, receptions, and art exhibits. The facility is completely handicap accessible (including an elevator).
The YMCA Boulton Center will offer:, theatre productions, concerts, film, dance, cabaret, jazz, poetry and play readings, student productions, children’s entertainment, YMCA cultural arts events, lectures, and seminars. Well established local presenting organizations such as the Islip Arts Council will play a key role in the programming of the YMCA Boulton Center.
The venue will also be available for rent to the business community and community groups. The YMCA’s Performing Arts program, which includes a summer performing arts camp, and the children that attend it will greatly benefit from the availability of state of the art theater.