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Hoeys Run project holding up Sewickley theater project

Kristina Serafini
| Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Though they are financially ready to break ground on a proposed two-screen movie theater within Sewickley's business district, Village Theater Co. leaders are unsure when construction will begin.

That's because they first must wait for a project to stabilize Hoeys Run — a stream that runs beneath the borough property the theater group will lease on Walnut Street — to wrap up, Village Theater Co. board Vice President Susan Kaminski said.

Sewickley council approved the lease for the property in August.

“We're standing here very anxious (for the start of construction),” Kaminski said.

In the meantime, Kaminski said, the board is in the final stage of a search for an executive director who will run day-to-day operations, focus on establishing programming for a regular film schedule and educational activities, and lead fundraising efforts.

A job listing posted in July netted 26 candidates. Kaminski said the group is expecting to make a decision by the end of the week.

“We're really, really pleased not only with the number but the quality (of applicants),” she said.

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 $1.5 million in donations and pledges and will continue to fundraise into 2015, Kaminski said. She said they have access to a two-year, interest-free $500,000 loan.

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

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 last fall temporarily called off plans to construct a garage and cited concerns over how it would be financed.

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

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

Staff writer Bobby Cherry contributed to this article. Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or

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