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Sewickley theater group seeks director

| Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Just a few months shy of a plan to break ground on a proposed two-screen movie theater within Sewickley's business district, Village Theater Co. leaders are seeking an executive director to run the nonprofit group.

A job ad was posted last month on the group's website, on nonprofittalent.com and NextPittsburgh.com announcing the position.

Resumes are being accepted through Aug. 12.

Board Vice President Susan Kaminski said the group's work is “getting serious now,” so the timing couldn't be better to hire someone to run day-to-day operations.

“We're getting into the next phase of the theater (and) moving forward with finalizing construction plans,” she said.

The group is targeting a ground-breaking on the Walnut Street property some time in October — after a lease with the borough is inked, which she said she expects to happen this month.

“We can't wait for a theater to be built and then hire a director.”

Leaders first announced plans late in 2011 to bring a movie theater back to Sewickley after a nearly 30-year hiatus.

Since then, the group has raised — through grants and private donations — about $1.5 million, Kaminski said. Another $1.2 million would be needed for operating costs.

Last September, organizers received a $350,000 grant from the state Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund.

Kaminski said leaders hope to find an executive director who will focus on establishing programming for a regular film schedule and educational activities, and lead fundraising activities.

The theater group plans to lease 11,800 square feet of property owned by Sewickley Borough on Walnut Street.

Sewickley Council members bought the land last year for $910,000. Initial plans called for the theater to be built above a proposed parking garage. Borough leaders in fall temporarily called off plans to construct a parking garage, citing concerns over how it would be financed.

A parking study proposal released earlier this year suggested the borough build a parking garage. Elected leaders have not publicly stated whether they intend to do so.

Theater and borough leaders initially planned to sign a lease in March, but contract language and concerns about Hoeys Run — a stream that runs beneath the borough property the theater group would lease — forced the delay.

Theater organizers have said the two-screen theater would show independent and classic films, and host educational events.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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