University purchases Campus Theatre

By Allie Mongan

Writer

The University will assume formal financial responsibility for the Campus Theatre building on Market Street in downtown Lewisburg. Announced Nov. 1, the purchase extends the University’s previous relationship with the theater.

The University has provided financial support to the theater in the past, according to a press release on the University website. In 2006 , the University provided Campus Theatre Ltd. with a no-interest loan to purchase the building from its previous owner. Campus Theatre Ltd. is the local nonprofit group in charge of the theatre and will continue to run its programs.

Despite the University’s new ownership of the theatre, Campus Theatre Ltd. will remain responsible “for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the theater” because they are “the expert in running a theater,” said Tom Evelyn, senior director of news and media relations.

Through the transfer of  “controlling ownership interest” in the Campus Theatre building, the University can now apply for state economic development grants, according to the University website.

Under the new ownership, the University is looking to give the 530-seat Campus Theatre a facelift. There are “much-needed repairs and improvements to the theater’s infrastructure” that can now take place, Evelyn said.

In addition to the building construction, the University aims to update the heating and air-conditioning system, but will also protect the historic features of the 69-year-old building.

“I have gone to movies downtown many times, and having Bucknell supporting the theater now is a positive. If they are able to update the Campus Theatre but still keep its older and historic feel, I think this will be a huge positive,” Brenna O’Neill ’12 said.

The University’s purchase of the Campus Theatre is another way in which administrators are trying to work with Lewisburg and improve the relationship between the campus and town.

The Campus Theatre Ltd. hopes to expand its programming and include more academic talks, film discussions and smaller music performances at the downtown locale. They also hope to be able to bring in musical groups that are too small for the Weis Center for Performing Arts, according to Evelyn.

Representatives of Campus Theatre Ltd. were unable to be reached for comment by press time.

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