Several donations and a grass-roots effort have given theater owners hope of opening the Gateway Playhouse in Somers Point, New Jersey.
The 101-year-old building was taken over by the Theater Collaborative of South Jersey, which has a goal of renovating the old building and eventually opening it back up for business.
The Press of Atlantic City reports the Collaborative originally predicted it would take about 18 months and $600,000 in donations to get the theater open for business. But a dismal economy has delayed plans for the group.
However, the Press of Atlantic City says a series of large-scale donations has the Collaborative and city officials hopeful the historic building will be open by this time next year.
The group says thousands of dollars in donations, along with the sale of donor tiles that will be installed in the theater’s lobby have given them new hope in restoring the old playhouse. Three separate donations of $50,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Program have also helped to jumpstart the project.