• We're a fun, friendly, and diverse group of planners, placemakers, students, and other folks who found their people here. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! Use your email address, or register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Redeveloping A Theater

urbanite

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
The agency that I work for is in the process of acquiring an old movie theater that has been operated as a church for about 30 years. We want to redevelop it into a community playhouse but we are having difficulty finding predevelopment funds. Does anyone know where I should begin to look for funding for this type of development. Also, are there any other cutting edge uses for a facility of this size in a predominantly african-american urban community? Any information is appreciated.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
urbanite said:
Also, are there any other cutting edge uses for a facility of this size in a predominantly african-american urban community? Any information is appreciated.
What is the size? Single screen? What capacity?

Will it be tax exempt?
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
24
In my opinion, you should try to use the theatre for a variety of things...plays, local school productions/concerts, movies, speeches, community meetings, etc. That way there will always be something going on there.

As for funding, see if your state has an arts board or similar agency. In Wisconsin we have an Arts Board that provides grants and suport for these types of endeavors. (http://arts.state.wi.us/static/)

If it is a historic building, you may be eligilbe for other grants too.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Aren't Community Development Block Grants earmarked for projects of just this nature?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
There is an old one-screen theater from the 1960's (remodel of an older theater), that has now been converted into an indoor climbing gym. It opened in 1998 and has been successful so far, in a community of less than 14,000 people (it draws from much further). Of course, this might not be a solution in your neighborhood, but it is unique.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,896
Points
26
Do you have a state Council on the Arts? Sometimes they have funding available for developing theaters and cultural facilities.
 

freshcutgrass

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
Saving old theatres is so important. They might not conform to current first-run movie house criteria, but they are too nice to let fade away.

I think mixed-use is the best bet to get it used a lot. Grants from government are always a good bet...if there is some historical or architectural significance, they are usually willing to help.

If there is a local college or university nearby, they might be in need of daytime lecture space...this would be good for that.

Perhaps a local rep film organization would be willing to add it to their base of theatres.

Perhaps part of the building could be leased out...income producing properties are more likely to get financing.
 

CiNYC

Member
Messages
16
Points
1
A project extremely similar to this which was supposed to have been completed by now here in Cincinnati has taken a turn for the worse. It truly is a shame, as this theater has much potential.
Here's an article about it.

Empire Theater

If you can't find the info you're looking for in this article, just do a search for "Empire Theater" on the Cincinnati.com site and you'll find plenty of details.
 

urbanite

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
Preliminary plans for the facility include conference space, a coffee shop, full service restaraunt and a jazz bar. The conference space is to be designed so that it can also operate as a theater.
We are in the process of contacting the aforementioned sources and I appreciate all the input.
 
Top