Cutting Hall is a facility owned and operated by the
District. Cutting Hall serves the arts and entertainment needs of area residents in the northwest suburbs
of Chicago as one of the few performing arts centers owned by a local recreation agency in the state of Illinois.
The theatre has been an integral part of the arts environment in Palatine since it was built in 1928 as part of the original
Palatine High School. The auditorium is named after the first principal,
Mr. Charles S.
Cutting, who was born in Highgate Springs, Vermont on March 1, 1854. He received his early education in Minnesota and graduated from Williamette University in Salem, Oregon. In 1874, he came to Palatine to pursue a teaching career, and six years later was admitted to the Illinois State Bar. He went on to become Master Chancery of the Circuit Court of Cook County and was a member of the Cook County Board of Education for nine years.
When the curtains first opened on the Cutting Hall Stage on September 15, 1928, the theatre's appearance was similar to today. The cross work of the beams was hand decorated by Gustave Bandt, one of four artists in the world who did this type of work.
Six pillars support the auditorium area, and from each hangs a tiffany
lamp which originally used gas as their power source, and the stage curtain displayed the PHS monogram on a purple and gold drape.
School District 211 closed the old high school when they moved to a new, larger facility in 1977. Grassroots efforts from area residents began a drive in hopes of saving the old high school building to use as a community center. Cutting Hall became a major aspect of this drive and, in the end, that section of the building became a free-standing facility through renovations undertaken by the Palatine Park District.
The intentions of the Park District were to restore and preserve Cutting Hall so that area residents would have the opportunity to enjoy and participate in amateur as well as professional productions. Additional renovations included a lobby with a box office and alterations of additional existing classrooms. These classrooms were redesigned to be used as a scene shop, dressing rooms, and a large rehearsal area. Renovations since then have included a seating renovation in 1997, when all 437 seats in the
auditorium were replaced.
2010, an electrical fire occurred in the theater coordinator's office
causing heavy smoke and water damage to the lobby. The facility
was closed to the public for two weeks while restoration crews
repaired the damage. In 2013, the lobby restrooms were
revitalized to capture the character and spirit of the facility's
Cutting Hall has seen substantial use since its first season as a community resource in 1979. During the course of the year, Cutting Hall is utilized by
various theatre companies from around the area, as well as film screenings. The Park District also utilizes the space for programs for children, the
Band, and many other Park District programs, including theatre,
dance, and the Palatine
Hall offers residents an opportunity to share their talents and
resources in the performing arts. The Park District is proud to
offer this lively example of the rich heritage which is found in our
area. We sincerely hope that you will always enjoy the quality
programs presented at Cutting Hall.
HALL HISTORY CONTRIBUTORS
Caren Zuiker (former Public Information Coordinator), Kerry Patrick
Hays (former Cultural Arts Coordinator), Carol Lange (current Cultural
Arts Coordinator), Jeff Greene (current Theatre Coordinator) and
Michael Noens (current Box Office Manager).
INQUIRIES & ADDITIONAL THEATRE INFORMATION
Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center is a full service rental facility
that is ready to host your event. For rental inquiries and additional
information regarding the space, contact Jeff Greene (Theatre
Coordinator) at 847-991-5318 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.