November 01, 2010

The Campus Theatre
Built in 1941, the Campus Theatre is one of the few single-screen art deco movie houses in the country.

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By Julia Ferrante

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University and the Campus Theatre are expanding their longtime partnership to secure the future of the historic landmark on Lewisburg's Market Street. The goal is to ensure the continued vitality of this rare community arts center and expand its capacity to secure state funding invested in the economic growth of small towns.

For several years now, the University has assisted and provided financial support to the Campus Theatre. With the new arrangement, Bucknell will take formal financial responsibility for the theater building, while the Campus Theatre organization will maintain authority over the theater's programming, including film schedule, events and other cultural offerings. This arrangement will now make it possible to apply for state grants for theater renovations.

Working relationship
"For years, the Campus Theatre and Bucknell have had a great working relationship that has benefited the entire community," said Campus Theatre Executive Director Ellen Flacker-Darer. "The expanded partnership allows us to continue to pursue much-needed renovations so that the theater will continue to serve as an important cultural resource in the greater Susquehanna River Valley."

In 2006, with support from a federal grant, Bucknell provided a no-interest loan to the Campus Theatre LTD., a local nonprofit organization, to allow the organization to buy the property from its prior owner and continue to run the theater as a nonprofit organization.

In partnership with the Campus Theatre LTD, the University now is applying for state economic development grants that would pay for improvements to the theater and would continue to allow the theater to operate itself as an independent nonprofit organization.

Transfer ownership
To be eligible for these grants, the University must have a controlling ownership interest in the theater, so the University and the theater will transfer ownership of the theater building to the University. The theater's nonprofit community board will remain responsible for the day-to-day operations of the theater.

The Campus Theatre partnership is part of a continuing effort of the University and Lewisburg to work together and improve the town-and-gown relationship. As part of that effort, the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University bookstore opened this past summer.

The Campus Theatre is a 501c3 nonprofit historic movie theater located in Lewisburg, Pa. Built in 1941, and one of the few remaining single-screen art deco movie houses in the country, the Campus Theatre remains dedicated to the promotion of the art of cinema and historic preservation of this architectural treasure.

Contact: Division of Communications