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Smithtown theatre seeks funding for a big renovation

Town of Smithtown

Long Island’s historic theatre in Smithtown could soon be getting a big renovation.

The nonprofit Smithtown Performing Arts Council is looking to raise $500,000 for new seats, carpets, restrooms and lighting for the theatre marquee.

After renting the theater for about 20 years to house the Smithtown Performing Arts Center, the council purchased the building for $1.45 million last month.

The theatre was in survival mode during the pandemic, and had stopped indoor operations from March 2020 through September 2021. Now, its board said they can focus on bringing the theatre back to life.

Funds will be accepted in the form of arts grants and private donations. Town Supervisor Edward Wehrheim announced a $40,000 downtown facade improvement grant is expected soon.

The theatre first opened its doors in 1933, and has been a venue for movies, live theater and educational programs.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.