DUBOIS – Cultural Resources Inc. (CRI), the parent organization for the Reitz Theater, has been awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in the amount of $300,000 to fund the construction of a new utility building adjacent to the current property on Scribner Avenue, DuBois.
This beloved community theater was built with handmade bricks in 1884 for use as St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. This historic building is over 125 years old and became home to the CRI and the Reitz Theater Players (RTP) in the early 1990’s.
Community members have found their home at the Reitz with multiple roles: acting, producing, directing, taking classes and providing quality community theater to the area.
“We’ve seen many changes to our cultural space since we acquired the building back in 1991, but none quite as profound as this opportunity. I am proud, grateful, and blessed to work with such dedicated people and such a supportive community,” says Lisa Rutherford, CRI president and founding member.
The Marketing to Attract Tourists Program provides funding to support and develop programs to support international tourism, sports marketing, outdoor recreation and cultural attractions, per the DCED guidelines.
Currently, all set-building is completed on the stage, limiting rehearsal space and the number of shows capable of preparing at one time.
The building will provide the theater with a place for set construction, additional rehearsal space, increased show capacity and accessibility to the stage. Additionally, CRI will be able to bring in outside education, talent and professional tours.
Development Committee Chair, Debbie Wirths, says, “We want to thank our board members, volunteers, patrons and local businesses for making this long time dream a reality.
“The dedication of the families and individuals since we began this campaign has been a true blessing to the Reitz Theater and the arts community.
“The efforts to secure these funds has been concerted and focused on contributing to the arts in our local community and The Reitz Theater is most grateful.”
This project has been in the works since 2016, when the CRI Board of Trustees began the Rising Star Capital Campaign.
Over a three-year period, this campaign was able to raise approximately $140,000 because of the generous support of the community and Reitz Theater patrons.
CRI would also like to thank former State Senator Joe Scarnati for his assistance last year in obtaining this grant.
KTH Architects, located on Kiwanis Trail in DuBois, has been awarded the bid with construction slated to begin this fall.
“We are very excited to work with a local, experienced firm to put up the new building. We are a small community theater and to be able to work with other local businesses is important to us,” says Joe Sensor, past president.