Phoenixville >> The Colonial Theatre’s recent expansion is being recognized by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. The historic theater, 227 Bridge St., is being honored with a 2018 Preservation Achievement Grand Jury Award, which recognizes historic building projects that have been restored or renovated in an “exemplary way.”
The Colonial’s renovation of the former Bank of Phoenixville building, located adjacent to the theater, is being singled out by the Preservation Alliance for the award.
“This year’s Grand Jury winners exhibit astonishing variety and demonstrate the breadth of preservation efforts in the city and throughout the region,” Paul Steinke, Preservation Alliance executive director said in a press release.
The Colonial Theatre is owned and operated by the non-profit Association for the Colonial Theatre. The historic property reopened in 1999 as a single-screen movie theater and concert venue.
The new wing of the theater opened to the public in May 2017, and added two theaters and a lobby to the space. It took just over one year to complete the construction on the building — the former Bank of Phoenixville and former home of Digital First Media’s The Phoenix newspaper.
Mary Foote, executive director of the Association for the Colonial Theatre said in an interview with Digital First Media last year, that expanding into the building next door was the “right thing to do.”
The expansion officially began in 2011, when the Colonial Theatre purchased the former Bank of Phoenixville building next door for $750,000. Construction began in 2016.
The new wing of the Colonial features a 30-foot concession stand with a selection of beer and wine and two new movie/performance auditoriums: the 174-seat White Rabbit theatre and the 65-seat Berry Theatre. In addition, the former bank manager’s office has been repurposed as a suite with a rooftop deck.
“This award is not only an honor for everyone who drew blueprints, poured concrete or wired a projection booth, it’s also a wonderful way to commemorate our members and the community,” Foote said in the release, “Not only did they rejuvenate this historic theatre, they also helped it thrive and grow into this beautiful new addition.”
Construction in the new building included structural steel, concrete, a new staircase, second floor walkway and an elevator.
Carnevale Eustis Architects of Phoenixville conceived the adaptive reuse of the historic building, while the project was constructed by Caldwell, Heckles & Egan Construction Inc. of Lancaster. Special expertise was sought from Cosler Theatre Consultants of New York and Applied Video Technology of Kimberton.
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia actively promotes the appreciation, protection, and revitalization of the Philadelphia region’s historic buildings, communities and landscapes. A 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization, the Alliance leads in setting the agenda for preservation issues of regional importance and advocates strong public preservation policies.
Grand Jury Award winners were selected by a Princeton-based panel of preservation architects and historians, according to the release.
The award will be presented to the Colonial at the Preservation Achievement Awards ceremony on June 6. For more information about the Preservation Alliance visit www.preservationalliance.com .
For more information about the Colonial Theatre visit www.thecolonialtheatre.com.
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