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Theater project in Sewickley gets grant from state fund

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A planned movie theater in Sewickley is another step closer to its first showing, after organizers received a $350,000 grant from a state fund.

The state Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund grant brings total support for the Village Theater Co.'s project to more than $1.2 million.

“Beside the fact that it enables us to move forward, it really validates the project to the community,” Village Theater Co. board member Susan Kaminski said.

The two-screen theater, which would show independent and classic films and host educational events, was one of 19 projects across Allegheny County in the running for grants from the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

The Allegheny County Economic Development Department recommended projects to the authority for grants varying from $200,000 to $500,000.

“We are very excited about not only this grant, but the support of the community in our efforts to strengthen the Village,” board President Brian Duggan said.

Money from the grant is earmarked for internal equipment, Kaminski said. The nonprofit group is trying to raise $1.5 million to begin construction, she said.

“We're positioned to do that,” Kaminski said. “I'd love to see us breaking ground in the spring.”

The group is working on a design for the theater, and is expected to begin negotiating a lease soon with the borough — which owns the property where the facility is planned.

The theater originally was envisioned above a proposed parking garage on Walnut Street but now is planned for street level, making it separate from the garage, Kaminski said.

“Whether (the borough builds) the garage or paves, (the theater is) independent of the garage,” she said.

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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