The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey, will continue to keep its name for another century thanks to a new agreement struck between the nonprofit organization that runs the theater and the William J. Basie Trust.
The contract between the two parties officially allows the venue to keep its name for the next 50 years, plus five 10-year extensions, provided it will continue to preserve the legacy of the great bandleader. In exchange for the extended naming rights, the theater has agreed to keep information about Count Basie on its website and in its playbills, a bust photo of the musician in the venue’s lobby and develop an educational program around Basie for local students.
Originally opened as the Carlton Theater in 1926, the venue was renamed in 1984 to honor the jazz great and Red Bank native William “Count” Basie.
Last month, Red Bank’s zoning board approved a $20 million expansion project that will double its size and add a second performance space. Work is expected to be finished in the summer of 2018.