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Funding needed for Sewickley theater

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Organizers of an effort to build a nonprofit movie theater in Sewickley's business district say $1.5 million in pledges is needed by June 30.

“If we don't feel we have the funding, the board will sit down and build on what to do next,” Village Theater Co. spokeswoman Patty Jones said. “We are not going to dissolve.”

About $600,000 has been pledged so far, which includes about $100,000 from a fundraiser held last month, Jones said.

The group's self-imposed deadline would allow the board of directors to move forward with a plan to begin the project in September, Jones said.

“We would love to have enough funds to move forward,” she said. “We need the summer months to hire an architect and go through the bidding process.”

Land has been pledged by Thorn-­Walnut Management, LLC, under project manager Peter Friday, to build a theater in an area between Thorn and Beaver streets, near Green Street.

If organizers can't secure plans for a theater after a specified period time, they might lose the opportunity to use the land, Jones said.

She did not specify how much time the group had.

In March, Sewickley Council approved a plan for a proposed three-story, roughly 10,000-square-foot office building at 417 Thorn St.

The building would be part of an area being referred to as Theater Square, which also could include retail space, the theater and a public parking garage.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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