The interior of The Colonial Theatre.
The interior of The Colonial Theatre.

Ambassador Theatre Group has acquired The Colonial Theatre in Boston in a 40-year lease agreement with Emerson College. The deal includes an investment of several million dollars in capital improvements. Following renovations, the 1680-seat theater will reopen in January 2018.

In addition, ATG and Emerson College will jointly establish the Emerson-Colonial Foundation, a not-for-profit to provide experiential learning and internship opportunities for Emerson students through four annual fellowships. These fellowships will fund student participation in the Edinburgh International Festival and an Ambassador Award program that will provide an ATG mentorship program for two Emerson students annually. ATG will also develop a creative theater-study initiative for Boston-area youth, and seeks to create a new home for the Boston Lyric Opera.

The Colonial Theatre, which started life in 1900, is the oldest continuously operated theater in Boston. The venue has presented not just touring Broadway productions, but also world premieres of Broadway-bound shows such as Anything Goes (1935), Porgy and Bess (1935), Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945), Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), La Cage aux Folles (1983), and Seussical (2000).