PHOENIXVILLE >> A Chester County couple has issued a matching grant challenge to raise funds for Phoenixville’s historic Colonial Theatre.
If the Colonial raises $100,000 by May 31 for its “Bank on the Arts” capital campaign, it will receive a $100,000 grant from the couple, according to a press release. The couple wishes to remain anonymous.
“We’ve had strong responses from our members to previous challenges,” Mary Foote, executive director of the Association for the Colonial Theatre said in the release. “These have helped stimulate gifts ranging from $5 to $45,000 to the campaign. Every single dollar is needed and appreciated.”
The Association for the Colonial Theatre owns the historic venue.
The Colonial Theatre opened a new wing last May, which included two new theaters and a new lobby area. The expansion officially began in 2011, when the Colonial Theatre purchased the former Bank of Phoenixville building next door for $750,000.
The new space features two theaters with seating for an additional 238 patrons; a lobby with a 30-foot concession stand; and a rental suite with a rooftop deck. Prior to the building expansion, the theater consisted of a 658-seat auditorium, a third floor event space and a modest lobby.
Since the completion of its expansion, the Colonial is able to show three to five feature films per week including first-run art and independent films — something that wasn’t possible with just one screen, Foote told Digital First Media in May. In addition, she added that a movie may start its run in the larger theater, then move to one of the smaller theaters as attendance drops.
The estimated $8 million project was completed with the help of $5.6 in donations and additional financing from Malvern Federal Bank & Trust. Project partners Carnevale Eustis Architects of Phoenixville and CH&E Construction Inc. of Lancaster were able to complete the expansion on budget and on time, according to the release.
“After just nine months of operation, ACT’s expansion is showing some of the anticipated growth in film attendance, concessions revenues, and new memberships,” Marian Moskowitz, Association for the Colonial Theatre’s board president and a campaign co-chairman said in a release. “This $100,000 challenge grant is an invitation to donors and business leaders to invest in a demonstrated success.”
Naming opportunities are available, including the new wing and a dressing room used by visiting musicians and performers. To discuss a multi-year pledge, one-time gift or transfer stock or appreciated securities, contact the theatre’s business office at 610-917-1228 or email Mary Foote at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can also be made online at www.thecolonialtheatre.com/donate .
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