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Park planned in front of new Sewickley theater

| Monday, March 20, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Visitors to the new Tull Family Theater soon will see a more welcoming entrance to the two-screen movie theater on Walnut Street.

The small plot of land between the theater building and street has the potential to be turned into a small park, leaders said.

The area, which provides a sidewalk connecting the theater to Walnut Street, is owned by the borough. Its development and maintenance are separate from the theater, Beyers said, and it is under the sole management of the borough.

“The Tull Family Theater is very grateful to the Borough of Sewickley for making our location possible in the business district through a renewable 29-year land lease for the property where the theater was built,” Executive Director Carolina Beyers said.

Borough leaders are in the early stages of making the land visibly pleasing thanks to a private donor group, borough Manager Kevin Flannery said.

Flannery said a Sewickley Valley resident has submitted a design to the borough to improve the area.

“The local group is committed to spending private dollars for the entire project,” Flannery said. “The borough is extremely grateful for the private group stepping forward.”

The Tull Family Theater, formerly known as the Vanguard Theater, opened on Feb. 17. The $4 million project was named for Thomas and Alba Tull. The Tulls sponsored the naming rights with a $500,000 donation last year. It features two screening rooms and a gathering space known as the Esmark and Bouchard Family Community Room.

So far, the theater has shown numerous Oscar-nominated and winning films and also is showing Disney's “Beauty and the Beast.”

The refurbished outside space will make the area more attractive to theater-goers and community members, alike.

“I believe that we share the goal of combining aesthetics with function, so that the residents of Sewickley and its visitors can enjoy an attractive addition to the community,” Beyers said.

Matthew Peaslee is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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