How to make the golden hour of a historic theater magical? Paint it gold!

July 08, 2024

How to make the golden hour of a historic theater magical? Paint it gold!
The Coolidge Corner Theatre, a staple in Brookline, MA, for over 90 years was designed as an Art Deco movie palace. The Coolidge is a Boston area landmark and remains at the heart of the Brookline community’s arts and social life.
The Depression era spurred the theater into existence when Americans needed some affordable escape from their real lives. Financially struggling in the late 1980s due to competition from other art houses and the proliferation of Blockbuster Video stores, the theater rebounded when the community rallied against its closure. Enthusiasts formed an extensive human hug by holding hands and surrounding the building to protest its closure.  Saved, it experienced a renaissance operating as a non-profit. Recently the theater underwent a major 14,000 square foot expansion, extraordinary in the 21st century media environment of almost unlimited streaming platforms.
Coolidge-Gold custom luminous paint finish-front  Coolidge-Gold custom luminous paint finish-side

Amiel and Stephanie, Arteriors’ married co-owners, were honored to be called in to do the decorative wall finishes for the Coolidge’s new entrance focal point.  Having started their family in Brookline decades ago and as arts and film lovers, they went to the Coolidge many times during their years in the area and even made theatrical set pieces for Coolidge events in the 1980s.  

The decorative artists were brought in by Groom Construction for this Howeler+Yoon Architecture renovation. The goal was a cost-effective metallic faux painting treatment for the foyer focal wall with the same luminous finish as 24K gold leaf. Up to the task and after conjuring up many sample boards, the team agreed on a creative, laborious application of several layers of gold to achieve the design vision.

To achieve the gold-leaf-look we created gold squares with two different gold paints using rollers and dry brushing the entire area in different directions. The finished look appears luminous to non-luminous depending on where you stand when you look at it. We creating this technique specifically for The Coolidge. It’s a timeless statement for a beloved Boston space.


Do you need our decorative painting expertise for your next hospitality, commercial or residential architectural finish project? Call today to discuss our custom surface design options such as faux paint finishes, gilding, custom mural paintings or other cost effective projects.

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