Theater plans move forward in Sewickley despite grant approval delay
By Bobby Cherry
Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 11:36 a.m.
Plans for a two-screen movie theater in the heart of Sewickley are moving ahead, despite delayed action on a $350,000 grant that is needed to pay for the project.
“We're pretty confident it's going to happen, but you can't count your chickens,” theater board President Susan Kaminski said of the Commonwealth Financing Authority's decision, now expected Sept. 17 in Harrisburg.
The authority canceled a July 10 meeting.
The two-screen movie theater, which would show independent and classic films and host educational events, is one of 19 projects across Allegheny County awaiting approval on grants from the authority, said Patrick Early, a manager with the Allegheny County Economic Development Department.
The department recommended projects to the state authority for grants varying from $200,000 to $500,000.
Village Theater Co., the nonprofit planning the theater, has raised $950,000 so far, not including the projected state grant, Kaminski said.
Organizers are seeking volunteers for newly created building, fund-raising, finance and other committees, and are continuing to solicit for donations.
The project's future hinges on the grant approval and a property purchase agreement, she said.
The theater could be built above a planned borough parking garage. The garage could add up to 300 spaces in a multi-level structure between Green and Walnut streets.
Council members may decide in August or September to build the garage, and construction could start in November, borough Manager Kevin Flannery said. The garage could be completed by June, he said.
The theater's proposed construction timeline is not as clear.
“It's a moving target, largely because we're tied in with the borough's development of that area,” Kaminski said.
The possibility for grant money “reinforces the value of the theater to the community,”she said.
Theater leaders hoped to have $1.5 million in pledges by June 30, but Kaminski called last month's date a “soft” deadline and said a grant award could spur additional donations that are crucial to the project.
Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Glen Osborne mayor set to retire
- The Way I See It: True joy of season best seen through eyes of a child
- Forward Thinking: Changes could come to Sewickley Valley in new year
- Photos: Santa visits Sewickley fire station