‘A center for joy and community’: Brooklyn Children’s Museum inaugurates newly-renovated auditorium

people cut ribbon at brooklyn children's museum
Kids, local elected officials and museum honchos debuted the Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s newly renovated auditorium on Sept. 24.
Winston Williams/Brooklyn Children’s Museum

The smallest Brooklynites are in for a big treat, with the opening of a newly renovated auditorium at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

Public officials and museum honchos cut the ribbon on the new 3,200-square-foot auditorium at the Crown Heights institution on Saturday. The $7.8 million renovation, which began in September of 2020, included the installation of a brand new stage, the addition of glass-fiber reinforced gypsum paneling on the ceiling and walls, and upgrades to utilities like air conditioning, ventilation, heating, lighting, and sound system.

brooklyn children's museum auditorium
The newly-renovated 162-seat auditorium includes a new stage, gypsum paneling, and utility upgrades. Winston Williams/Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Brooklyn Children’s Museum is thrilled to be opening this beautiful new auditorium and movie theater to serve children and caregivers,” said BCM President Stephanie Wilchfort, in a statement. “It’s especially wonderful to open this space just as the weather turns colder and Central Brooklyn families seek indoor activities.”

Wilchfort said that the new theater is expected to serve around 10,000 people annually. Programming at the theater will include regular movie nights, which are being inaugurated with five consecutive weeks of showings from the vaunted Minions franchise. 

“Brooklynites of all ages just gained yet another reason to frequent and love the Brooklyn Children’s Museum,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, who added he plans to bring his own sons to the new spot. “This beautiful new auditorium will bring family, friends, and neighbors together through art and quickly emerge as a center for joy and community.”

In addition to the theater, permanent exhibits at the museum can help Kings County youngsters learn about everything from the natural world, their neighborhood, and even themselves. The museum is also currently hosting thrilling exhibits like dinosaur-themed minigolf and a giant playscape made of 15 miles of packing tape.

woman in yellow dress at podium
Stephanie Wilchfort, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, said the new auditorium will be especially necessary for local kids as the weather cools off and families look for indoor activities. Winston Williams/Brooklyn Children’s Museum

The renovation was designed through the Department of Design and Construction’s “Project Excellence” program and was funded by the council, Reynoso, and the mayor’s office.

“The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is among the most important institutions in the borough, providing a safe family space for recreation and education, exploration and discovery. The auditorium expands and enhances this neighborhood gem, diversifying its contributions to our community,” said councilmember Chi Ossé, who represents the museum and chairs the council’s committee on cultural affairs. “I commend the DDC and DCLA for their work and investment. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum was a defining centerpiece to my own childhood; I could not be more thrilled to know it will be even better for generations of children to come.”