The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts

Our task was to take a space that had been long empty and unused and turn it into a vibrant performance space worthy of the magic children’s theater provides.



The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts


Northwest Children's Theater


Completed 2023


Portland, OR




The search for a new home

SERA has been working with Northwest Children’s Theater and School to realize a new home since 2017, when they considered the purchase and major renovation of the historic Beaux Arts space they had rented since the organization’s founding in 1993.

Right in the heart of an artistic hub

Following several subsequent site evaluations and feasibility studies, a downtown location on Broadway and adjacent to Portland’s premier performing arts venues was found to be a perfect match for NWCT’s mission and vision.

A variety of venues to delight a variety of audiences

An innovative renovation has transformed a long-shuttered four screen movie theater in the basement of a high-rise office building into The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts. A 240-seat mainstage theater and a 120-seat black box theater provide state-of-the-art facilities to continue offering award-winning productions that have entertained more than 1 million children, parents, grandparents, and theater enthusiasts for three decades.

Spaces that support the artistic process

The performance venues are supported by three rehearsal classrooms, a maker space for costumes and props, and accessible technical spaces that meet the needs of the professional productions and the educational programs.

Inspiring spaces, inspiring performances

One of the movie theater spaces has been renovated as a 190-seat family cinema for screening classic films, sing-alongs, and celebrations. A prominent, street-level box office under a renovated marquee and enhanced concession complete an experience that will inspire the next generation of performers and theater-lovers.