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Denis Theatre group applauds $155,000 gift to restore movie house

The Denis Theatre Foundation has received a matching grant of $155,000, putting the group near the amount needed to buy the movie house in uptown Mt. Lebanon, leaders said Tuesday.

"First of all, especially coming on the heels of The Pittsburgh Foundation grant, it's an incredible affirmation of the viability and importance of the project to the community," said Anne Kemerer, executive director of the Denis Theatre Foundation.

The Pittsburgh Foundation recently gave a $100,000 grant.

Kemerer said her group has until June 30 to exercise its option to buy the theater on Washington Road. If Denis supporters raise the full match, they must obtain $75,000 more to buy the building and pay related closing costs.

"It's nothing compared to what we had to raise so far," she said.

The latest anonymous gift is the largest of eight grants from foundations. The matching money will have to be raised from individuals, Kemerer said.

After buying the building, the foundation must raise another $1.8 million for the first phase of the renovation. The phase involves opening one screen; updating or replacing basic systems; and installing an elevator.

The second phase includes opening two more screens; restoring the stage; and adding meeting rooms.

For more information or to make a contribution, contact Kemerer at 412-480-0187.

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