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Sewickley

Sewickley theater set for Feb. 17 opening

| Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, 1:24 p.m.
Workers from Kentucky-based Installation Source Inc. place armrests for seats inside the Tull Family Theater in Sewickley on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. The theater is scheduled to open Feb. 17.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Workers from Kentucky-based Installation Source Inc. place armrests for seats inside the Tull Family Theater in Sewickley on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. The theater is scheduled to open Feb. 17.

Sewickley's first movie theater in more than 30 years will open Feb. 17, theater spokeswoman Karen Ferrick-Roman said last week.

The Tull Family Theater's website , which also announced the opening date, includes a list of films the theater is expected to show including “20th Century Women,” “Jackie” and “Fences.”

The theater also will offer Classic Tuesdays events, with screenings of popular films on the first Tuesday of the month. Foreign films will be featured on the third Tuesday of each month.

The two-screen theater on Walnut Street is an initiative of Village Theater Company, a Sewickley-based nonprofit group.

When the facility opens, it will boast two screening rooms — one with 169 seats, and the 77-seat Huntington Bank Room.

Previously named the Vanguard Theater, the $4 million project was named for Thomas and Alba Tull. The Tulls sponsored the naming rights with a $500,000 donation, the group announced in March.

Along with the two movie screens, the theater will have a gathering space known as the Esmark and Bouchard Family Community Room, sponsored by Esmark CEO Jim Bouchard, who donated $150,000, the group said.

That space will serve as a multipurpose room and host events such as small-scale live performances, speaking engagements or private rentals for birthdays or weddings.

Additional film programing will be planned and announced as leaders move forward, Executive Director Carolina Beyers has said.

“The sky is the limit when it comes to programming,” she said. “But it will be in stages. When we open our doors in a few weeks, the focus is … providing an outstanding … cinema going experience. After that, the benefits will keep unfolding.”

Leaders announced plans late in 2011 to bring a movie theater back to Sewickley. Board members held a groundbreaking ceremony in June 2015.

Setbacks related to soil forced construction delays.

An original plan for the theater called for it to be built flush against the Walnut Street sidewalk but stability issues with Hoey's Run, which flows beneath the property, forced changes in 2014.

Bobby Cherry is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rcherry@tribweb.com.

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