Founded in 1985, The Garde Arts Center, Inc. is a non-profit professional performing arts center in New London. The Garde Arts Center is nationally recognized for its unique architecture and dynamic programming serving Southeastern Connecticut.
Located in the heart of downtown New London, the historic Garde theatre is one of the few remaining historic movie palaces in Connecticut. The Garde was built in 1926 during the golden era of the motion pictures and vaudeville theatres. The restored Moroccan interior of the Garde Theatre and expanded lobbies and function spaces provide a very audience-friendly theatre venue in a warm and beautiful atmosphere.
In addition to the Garde Theatre, the Garde owns a complex of three adjoining buildings including the 110-seat intimate Oasis Room, the Garde Gallery, the Mercer Building, and the Meridian Building, comprising an “arts block” of creative enterprises.
In 2014, the community raised funds needed to install our state-of-the-art digital cinema and surround-sound system. This renovation made the Garde one of the preeminent venues in New England for both world-class cinema and live performances.
The Garde Arts Center strives to engage, enrich, entertain, educate and inspire the region of greater New London County, by:
- Protecting, operating and enhancing the historic Garde Theatre and its facilities as a central cultural gathering place and educational resource,
- Presenting top-quality performing arts and film events,
- Fostering community arts organizations,
- Providing educational opportunities in and through the arts, and
- Strengthening community interaction and vitality
Programs & Services
Events & Shows: The Garde presents the best in performing arts including national Broadway musical tours, international and regional opera, music, dance and special events children’s theater and school time performances and film festivals.
Event Rentals: Garde facilities are rented by the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Ballet, The Connecticut Lyric Opera, the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant, and other local arts organizations and performing arts schools; for civic events including debates, educational forums, graduations, public speakers and fundraising events for regional non-profits; and, for meetings, conferences, weddings, parties, receptions, and other private uses.
Education: The Garde educates the broader community by offering arts education and participation opportunities. The PACE program – Partners in Arts, Community & Education – strategically links Garde programs and services with schools, educators, parents, and community and social service organizations.