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August 15. 2013 8:28PM

Monadnock region destination?

Jaffrey landmark awaits future


Plans for the new Park Theatre on Main Street in Jaffrey include 400 comfortable seats in the main auditorium, year-round programs of movies, concerts and live performances, and a venue for area school programs, rehearsals and performances, a 900 square foot stage with flyloft and dressing rooms as well as office space. (COURTESY)


Jaffrey’s Park Theatre back in the day, January 1954. Courtesy 

JAFFREY — Eight years after the start of a grassroots movement to reopen the Park Theatre, the project is reaching the home stretch.

Funds have been secured to demolish the old movie theater to make way for a new theater that, along with showing movies, the Park Theatre Board of Trustees hopes would serve as an arts center in the region.

The reconstruction project is expected to cost $1.6 million, said Mia Moravis, the theater's media chief.

Since fundraising started, $1.4 million has been raised.

Initially plans were to renovate the old art deco movie house that opened in 1922 and closed in 1976, but recently the board of trustees had to give up that plan and begin planning the demolition and reconstruction of the theater instead due to numerous issues with the building, Moravis said.

The board recently stepped up measures to start site work by raising $100,000 to qualify for a state Community Development Finance Authority Tax Credit of $200,000, so the project could finally begin.

By July 31 that goal was met, with $102,000 raised.

The $300,000 is to be used to clean up hazardous waste, the demolition of the building, and readying the site for construction.

Hutter Construction Corp. of New Ipswich will undertake the construction.

Moravis said a start date has not been set.

mpierce@newstote.com


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