PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Uptown Theater on North Broad Street will get a financial boost Thursday. The money will help with much-needed repairs.
Efforts to renovate the Uptown Theater have limped along for the past few years. Part of the problem is that the cost to fully renovate the historic edifice is estimated at $10 million and with only $4 million secured, the progress slowed. But a grant from the Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program, renovations will be able to move things along.
“We are so delighted that we have received this boost,” says Linda Richardson, president and CEO of the Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation. She says they’ll use the money to replace the roof, which suffered major damage in 2016 leading to a major leak that halted construction.
“The money will go to phase two of the renovations and restorations,” says Richardson, “it will be completion of the infrastructure, a new roof and completion of the facade.”
But the money comes with conditions, the Uptown will have to match the $500,000 grant to get it.
State Senator Sharif Street says the matching funds cannot be state funds, but there are many creative ways to raise the cash.
“I suspect the Uptown will use a mix of other stakeholder investment, private stake holder investment, some municipal funds and even some federal funds,” he says. “I’m confident they’ll meet the challenge.”
The Uptown Theater was once the center of music in North Philadelphia from 1951 to 1978. It fell into disrepair in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The UDEC took ownership of the theater in 2002. Future plans for the theater includes a museum, office space and center for the arts.