Lansdowne Theater one step closer to reopening after getting state preservation grant

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  A historic theater in Delaware County undergoing extensive preservation work is one step closer to reopening thanks to a state preservation grant.

The Lansdowne Theater was built in 1927 as a silent movie house. The original beaded curtain still hangs above the stage and orchestra pit, and the last movie played was in 1987.

“That’s going to include making the front doors handicapped accessible. Putting new finishes on them. Removing some of the paint that people have painted on some of the cast stone on the front of the building and some of the tiles. There are some leaded glass windows on the front of the building, they will be restored,” explained Matt Schultz, the executive director of the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation.

.@PHMC awards it’s annual historic preservation grants for construction and construction planning at 52 sites throughout the commonwealth. Congrats to Lansdowne Theater built in 1927. It’s grant will help with preservation and improvement work to first floor facade. @KYWNewsradio

— John McDevitt (@JM1060) September 11, 2020

This year, PHMC awarded a total of $2.6 million in historic preservation grants to sites throughout the commonwealth.

“It’s a 50/50 match, so if they get money.  they have to raise an equal amount of money for that. Grants also not only come for construction, but also planning for construction,” said Howard Pollman, s spokesman for the PHMC.

The grants are a reimbursement.

“So we are tracking their progress. We’re paying them back as they go along,” Pollman said.

The funding is supported annually by a portion of the state’s realty transfer tax revenue.