Phoenixville >> The Colonial Theatre has announced the appointment of a new executive director for the historic theater.
Following a search that has lasted several months, the theater announced Wednesday that Ken Metzner will assume the position of executive director on Aug.1. He will take over for Mary Foote, who leaves her position on July 31 after 20 years of leadership.
“After Mary announced her plans to pursue new challenges, we faced our own challenge of finding the right person to carry on our mission and lead the Colonial during its new phase as a multi-theatre arts venue,” Marian Moskowitz, president of the board of directors of the Association for the Colonial Theatre said in a press release. “After an exhaustive search, it became clear that Ken Metzner, who has a distinguished record in both the arts sector and the world of big business, is that leader.”
Before his current work in the non-profit arena, Metzner held positions as a New York City attorney and as general counsel for fashion retailer Saks Fifth Avenue. While at Saks, he served as president of the company’s charitable foundation.
In 2007, according to the release, Metzner switched gears to become the founding executive director of Philadelphia’s acclaimed Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers (KYL/D) and KYL/D’s CHI Movement Arts Center.
For the past three years, Metzner has served as president of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and as a board member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the region’s leading arts advocacy organization.
“The Colonial is a storied community asset with roots firmly planted in the past and an ethos that embraces the now and welcomes the future,” Metzner in the release. “I am thrilled and humbled by the invitation to build on the legacy of Mary Foote and the momentum generated through the collective efforts of the Colonial’s extraordinary staff, volunteers, board and community. I look forward to working with this amazing team to ensure that the Colonial continues to inspire people of all backgrounds to discover more of themselves and others through encounters with exceptional and eclectic film and performances.”
In addition to being a lawyer and arts activist, Metzner is a Spanish-speaking, ordained Interfaith Minister who has been a frequent guest speaker at universities and arts service organizations including Temple University, University of Pennsylvania and the University of the Arts. Metzner studied international relations, law and languages at Georgetown University, the London School of Economics and the University of Virginia.
“I am thrilled with the work of the search committee, the board and the staff in identifying Ken Metzner as our next executive director,” Foote said in the release. “This is an exciting time for ACT and the Colonial Theatre. I am confident the community will welcome him with open arms as we begin introducing him to members, patrons and neighbors.”
According to Brendan Carr, marketing director for the Colonial, there will be an “informal passing of the torch” during the month of July before Metzner begins his new role Aug. 1. He added that during July, Phoenixville residents and business owners may see Metzner around town and at the theater.
The 115-year-old Colonial Theatre is located on Bridge Street in downtown Phoenixville and is owned and operated by the Association for the Colonial Theatre, a nonprofit corporation.
The historic, three-screen venue consists of the original 658-seat theater and two new theaters in the adjacent Bank of Phoenixville building, and former home of Digital First Media’s The Phoenix newspaper.
The renovation and 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, and was completed in 2017.
Programming includes first-run, independent and classic films, young audience shows, concerts and community events. The new wing of the Colonial features a 30-foot concession stand, two new movie/performance auditoriums, and a rooftop deck.
In April, The Colonial Theatre’s expansion was recognized by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia with a 2018 Preservation Achievement Grand Jury Award. The award recognizes historic building projects that have been restored or renovated in an “exemplary way.”
For more information visit www.thecolonialtheatre.com.
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