Maltz Jupiter Theatre

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre was founded in October of 2001 and acquired by the not-for-profit Palm Beach Playhouse, Inc. Before it was the Maltz Jupiter Theatre it was known as the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, from 1979 until 1989. Burt Reynolds was a well-known tycoon in the South Florida theatre and film community. He dedicated many years to advancing the art scene, educating the youth of South Florida who held interests in theatre and film. After its closing, it was owned by outside institutions before being discovered by members of the Coconut Grove Playhouse who brought the idea of establishing the building into a new regional theatre to Milton and Tamar Maltz. With their help, they have allowed the Maltz Jupiter Theatre to become what it is today. In honor of the Maltz Family and their 25 million dollar donation, the theatre was named after them in dedication to their philanthropy.

In front of the building, you will find a statue commemorating Burt Reynolds. Before his passing, he aimed to work with the education program, the Goldner Conservatory, but it had yet to launch before his death. The statue was created as way to say thank you to Burt Reynolds for putting both Jupiter and theatre in South Florida on the map. The Maltz Jupiter Theatre went further by working with the city of Jupiter to change the name of the street, heading on US 1 towards the theatre, ‘Burt Reynolds Blvd’.

New Building at night

      Andrew Kato, Producing Artistic Director and Chief Executive, has been with the Maltz Jupiter Theatre for 17 years. He moved to Jupiter at a young age where he became a waiter at the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater for eight years before heading off to Florida State University. In college he studied business and theater, aiming to become a producer; a goal he’s had his whole life. “I was one of the very few people who knew at a young age what I wanted to do. As a kid I used to tell people ‘I want to become a producer,” stated Andrew Kato. After graduating college, he worked for Portland Stage Company in Maine, before moving to New York.  As most artists do, he struggled at first, but eventually found his way by using Broadway as a “master’s degree” to learn the industry, even having the chance at the role of Coordinating Producer for The Tony Awards.  He learned most of his skills from Margo Lion, working on Broadway productions such as Jelly’s Last Jam and Angels in America, as well as producing concert productions of Dreamgirls and Into the Woods. In 2005, he found his way back to his hometown of Jupiter, dedicating all his attention to the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.  With his eclectic resume, the theatre has grown immensely since he became a part of the team. “Working at the MJT has been the best chapter of my life. It’s been such an honor to watch this organization grow,” said Andrew Kato. 

In February of 2004, following a victorious capital campaign, the theatre opened as a 554- seat, state-of-the-art, regional theatre. In August of 2007, in support of the Goldner Conservatory, they built world-class facilities designed to serve hundreds of students in their weekend, afterschool, and summer programs. In the following years, the theatre received several grants. This has helped fund programs like the emerging artist series in musical theatre and their first youth artists chair summer mentor program. Before their recent expansion, they had one in 2014 with the help of a generous gift of 1.5 million dollars from the Roe Green Foundation. With this, they were able to complete a 2.5-million-dollar expansion and renovation to create the Green Room Club Level Lounge, expand seating to hold 617 seats, and other improvements like expanding the restrooms, box office, and more. It wasn’t till 2016 that the theatre began campaigning for its recent renovation, creating a 5-year plan. Their 5-year plan was based on three major changes, outlining it like parts of a play.

Act 1:  Redesigning the Parking Lot to provide a more convenient size. Inviting in more patrons and theatre philanthropists. 

Act 2 & 3: Changing the interior and exterior of the theatre. Creating room for a Broadway-scale stage, doubling the size of rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, and spaces for patrons and donors of the theatre. Andrew expressed, “Before they went to Broadway, they performed in a regional theatre like the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, and we couldn’t be competitive because our stage was too small.” 

The Final Act: Construct state-of-the-art conservatory classrooms double the size of the Goldner Conservatory’s availability for students, dining experiences, a costume shop, and adding a new theatre stage with 199 seats. The Maltz Jupiter Theatre will continue to produce well-known plays and musicals, but now, being able to cater to other areas of performance- “Cutting-edge new works, dramas, alternative theatre, dinner theatre; things we haven’t done yet,” stated Andrew Kato. 

They began working on Act One in October of 2019, adding 40 extra parking spaces. As they planned to work on the next Act, they were put to a stop by the recent epidemic. Covid-19 caused all theatres to pause their seasons and close their doors. Though devastating, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre continued. Combining Acts two and three into one, they hoped it would make the process faster. Just like any play, you will run into conflict, “Going through Covid and building has been a challenge for sure, but we are here now. I keep reminding people that this is just a building. It’s the people that come here to do their work, that is what makes a great organization. Not the building but the people that come into it,” pronounced Kato. Three years after being closed for construction, they finally re-opened this past March to showcase the 36-million-dollar renovations.

Oscar Garcia, the architect, and Ines Garcia, the designer, worked with Andrew throughout the creation process. Collaborating on what was desired for the theatre and how the new layout would benefit the goals of the 5-year plan. An example of their genus, when designing the new building edition, they shaped it like an elbow,  ‘L’. This made the rehearsal halls easily accessible to the stage and costume department. They advanced their equipment and power abilities throughout the building so they can provide a better technological effect. Top to bottom, you will find memories of past shows all over the walls. Costumes, Photos, stage sets, and more. A grand way to represent the work they have already done and the brilliance that will come after

I had the pleasure of getting a personal tour, led by Andrew Kato, to see the current state of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Though they are still working on finishing the last bit of renovations, what currently stands is a marvelous sight. You walk into the building and are instantly greeted by the wonderful smiles from the workers in the box office. Three stories high, and covered with floor-to-glass windows, the interior is designed to bring fresh light throughout the building. The design of these windows gives visitors a glance into the rehearsal rooms, costume shop, and the area in which patrons relax before enjoying a performance. As you walk through, it feels like a daydream. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but the equipment and newly added rooms are paired together perfectly; giving casts and crews easier access to all the elements used in performances.

I was amazed at all that had been done with the new expansion, something you must experience yourself to understand.  Andrew Kato was a pleasure to conversate with. You can feel the passion in the air as you indulge in the beauty of the Maltz Jupiter Theatres’ interior. The theatre’s mission has expanded to ensure all theatre lovers can come and enjoy a show, taking the definition of community to mean all communities. “Over the last 16 years, our focus was to create a stable organization. It took the pandemic to make me realize that our mission is to educate, entertain and inspire, but the words that I didn’t put enough emphasis on were “our community”. And community means everybody. If everyone doesn’t feel welcome, if you don’t invite them, and you don’t give them a reason to feel like this is their home, why would they come? Our goal is to ensure people with disabilities, those that are LGBTQA+, people of color, and others will feel right at home,” said Andrew Kato. People with disabilities, members of the LGBTQA+, and people of color will feel right at home with all the Maltz Jupiter Theatre has done to advance theatre in Jupiter, Florida. 

  ‘Educate, Entertain, and Inspire.’

The mission that Maltz Jupiter Theatre will continue to strive by. I cannot wait to see the finished product; being able to bring theatre and opportunity back to Jupiter. “The interesting thing that people don’t realize is that talent exists everywhere. It’s how you harness and develop it,” stated Andrew Kato. The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is excited to open its doors to all. Check out their season, drive by and marvel at the view, and be a part of the Maltz Jupiter Theatres’ future. 

If you would like to get a chance to tour the Maltz Jupiter Theatre yourself, they will be holding tours from now till August 15th. Tours are around 45 minutes to an hour and wheelchair accessible. To schedule you can contact them through their website. Link:  

Please see the Theatre’s 2022/23 season performances below:

  • Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, October 25 – November 13, 2022

  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, November 29 – December 18, 2022

  • Sweet Charity, January 10 – January 29, 2023

  • Good People, February 12 – February 26, 2023

  • Lionel Bart’s OLIVER!, March 14 – April 2, 2023

Here’s a look at the Theatre’s 2022/23 special productions and limited engagement shows:

  • Odyssey Road: Tribute to Journey, Wednesday, November 16, 2022

  • David Clark presents Live at the Garden: The Music of Billy Joel, Thursday, November 17, 2022

  • Top of the World: A Carpenters Tribute, Friday, November 18, 2022

  • Stephanie J. Block: Believe, Saturday, November 19, 2022

  • Best of the Eagles, Sunday, November 20, 2022

  • Destination Motown, Sunday, December 4, 2022

  • ABBA mania, Saturday, December 31, 2022

  • Yellow Brick Road, Monday, January 16, 2023

  • Hotel California, Tuesday, January 31, 2023

  • Sweet Baby James, Thursday, February 2, 2023

  • Earth, Wind, and Fire Tribute Band, Friday, February 3, 2023

  • Rumors, Saturday, February 4, 2023

  • Portrait of a Queen: Aretha Franklin, Sunday, February 5, 2023

  • Stayin’ Alive, Tuesday, February 28, 2023

  • So Good! The Neil Diamond Experience, Wednesday, March 1, 2023

  • What a Fool Believes, Thursday, March 2, 2023

  • The Celtic Tenors, Friday, March 3, 2023

  • Lucie Arnaz: “I Got the Job”, Saturday, March 4, 2023

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