Restoring the Lansdowne Theatre
Lansdowne, Pa. - October 20, 2011 (WPVI) -- The Delaware County Council presented a check for more than a $126,000 to the Historic Lansdowne Theatre Corporation. It will fund the restoration of the lighted marquee at the theatre's entrance.
Matt Schultz of the Historical Lansdowne Theatre Corp./Executive Director said, "We've had a lot of people that have come forward to support us and we hope by the end of the year, we're gonna have some other exciting news to announce as part of the re-lighting of the marquee...that's gonna start...being restored in about 3 weeks."
Promoters, Bill Rogers and Herb Spivak, who brought big-name entertainers like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan to Philadelphia say that with the grant...this cultural landmark is one step closer to becoming a concert venue once again.
Spivak added, " Tomorrow's acts are just getting developed today, so there'll be a lot of...big talent..."
When you step inside the historic theatre, you are immediately struck by its splendor.
The seating is for 1300 people.
The gargoyles, tile fountains, original embroidered curtains, and the magnificently painted ceiling add to its beauty.
The theatre opened in 1927 with a screening of a silent film.
Later there were movies like Snow White, Walt Disney's first full length feature film.
Karen Hatzell of Middletown Township said, "..was this the thing to do on the weekend, when you were a child, absolutely every Saturday, we were here, no matter what the move was..."
The theatre closed in 1987 when an electrical fire forced the evacuation of moviegoers.
Bob Herre of Lansdowne was fire chief, he remembers that day and those he spent as a teenager at the theatre.
" You fought for the back row...for your dates, cause nobody could see ya...trying to hold hands with your first date...or putting your arm around her," said Herre.
When asked what would today's youth think about a theatre like this, and it would it be a draw, Herre said, "I believe so, I'll come, if I can get to my seat back there."
theater, pennsylvania, local/state
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