Bratton Theater General Information
Chautauqua Theater Company made a triumphant return to the Bratton Theater stage for the 2022 Season.
Please check back for information on our 2023 Season.
Accessability at Chautauqua Institution
Please visit the link below to learn more about accessibility features, policies, and recommendations at the institution.
The Welcome Center GPS address is 1 Massey Avenue, Chautauqua, NY. Accessible parking (for 30 minutes) is available in the Main Gate Welcome Center Parking Lot.
Accessibility at Bratton Theater
Access to Bratton Theater’s main entrance on Pratt Avenue requires navigating several sets of stairs. Scooters and wheelchairs can easily enter the front lobby area using the ramp at the rear of the building on Wythe Avenue.
There are a limited number of accessible parking spaces behind Norton Hall, on Root Avenue, and in the Main Lot. A valid state-issued accessible parking permit is required to park in these spaces, and standard parking rates apply.
- To drop off a guest with mobility challenges, a temporary drop-off pass can be obtained at any gate. We recommend entering through the Welcome Center Main Gate or the Turner Gate. All guests entering the grounds are required to present a valid gate pass or theater performance ticket.
- The Institution provides regularly scheduled complimentary transportation service in the Main Lot and on the grounds during the season. Take the North bus or the Lake Tram for Bratton Theater.
Accessible restrooms on the porch.
When the building is open for performances, the assistive listening system will be available. Bring your own equipment or use our complimentary equipment, available for loan during the performance. Please ask an usher for assistance.
- Bratton Theater uses a radio frequency (RF) Assistive Listening System. The equipment is coil-compatible as long as the guest has a compatible jack/patch cord. Most users own several different sizes just in case. The system is also helpful for guests who need hearing assistance but don’t have a hearing aid.
- Frequently Asked Questions About Assistive Listening Systems
About Bratton Theater
The Bratton Theater was built in 1885 and is one of the oldest buildings on the grounds of CHQ. It was originally built as a schoolhouse for the summer program and accordingly, its original name was “Normal Hall”. In 2000, with the advocacy of the Friends of Chautauqua Theater Company and a successful Institutional capital campaign, a major renovation took place and the beautiful, 269 seat, newly named Bratton Theater was inaugurated. A major accomplishment in both preservation and renovation, the original laminated beam structure of Normal Hall is still in place today.
Under the direction of architect Mitchell Kurtz, the renovation garnered several awards including:
- An Honor Award from the US Institute for Theatre Technology
- 2001 Adaptive Re-use/Historic Preservation Citation from the New York City Chapter of the American Institute of Architects
- 2001 Design Award from the Buffalo/WNY Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Click here for a listing of restaurants on the grounds.