denis theatre gets challenge grant

The Denis Theatre Foundation has received a two-to-one matching challenge grant from an anonymous donor. The Denis will receive $145,000 when it raises $290,000 to met the challenge.

The Foundation, a nonprofit formed in 2007 to restore and renovate the theater, has raised $2.2 million to date. This has allowed it to buy the property and get a head start on the renovation plans, which include upgrading the heating, ventilation and the electrical systems, and making the theater more accessible.

Plans call for three screens, two auditoriums and a combination learning center and screening room, which can be used for special events and private movie screenings. The Denis also will have a lounge and community gathering space that will feature regional art. The board of directors is planning to receive formal bids this year and then will assess cash flow needs to begin the work.

“This donor has provided gifts towards the theater renovation and upgrade project in the past, and this gift would bring their total to $500,000,” says Betty Jo Hirschfield Louik, chair of the foundation’s fundraising committee. “We are honored by this powerful and consistent support and are confident we will meet the challenge. When we meet the goal, we will be in a good position to plan our renovation timetable and begin the work in 2016.”

To learn more about the mission, renovation project, current programs or how to contribute, visit

Photo by Judy Macoskey