The Art Deco Globe played host to iconic acts like Buddy Holly, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones but closed in 1997 after a spell as a bingo hall.
It will now be returned to its former glory as a modern 3,000 capacity live music and comedy venue that is hoped to generate £18m a year in visitor spend for the town.
Care is being taken to remove and store historic parts of the building such as windows at the front and internal doors.
Mouldings have been taken of the ornate ceiling details so that new profiles can be cast as part of the restoration.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council selected Willmott Dixon through the Scape framework.
Willmott Dixon will also renovate the neighbouring 153 High Street building to provide box office and café bar facilities for the Globe as well as operating as a standalone venue with a small performance area.
The project follows Willmott Dixon’s refurbishment of nearby Darlington’s Hippodrome in 2017 as well as its recent appointment to renew the iconic Civic Halls in Wolverhampton and Bristol’s popular Colston Hall concert venue.
Its portfolio of projects also includes the transformed Alexandra Palace’s East Wing, refurbished Bolton Albert Halls and updated the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington to create a new home for the Design Museum.
Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North said: “It is fantastic to be working on the restoration of the Globe Theatre, breathing new life into a really iconic building for the community. We look forward to seeing it become a cultural hub once again for future generations to enjoy.”