Uptown Theatre for Creative Arts (UTCA) and The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties have partnered to complete phase II of a multi-year revitalization project designed to restore and reopen the historic Uptown Theatre as a regional entertainment destination and cultural asset.
The $25,000 investment from The Community Foundation will help UTCA to install an energy-efficient heating system and renovate the lobby, allowing the space to be open to the public for events, performances, workshops and community gatherings. In the past, the lobby had always been considered a corridor to pass through, briefly, on the way into the theatre, but UTCA envisions it as a functioning multi-purpose space with a unique appeal all its own.
“The Community Foundation is pleased to be able to support UTCA in phase II of this project” said Morgan Mielnicki, community investment coordinator at The Community Foundation. “We felt this was an important investment as the newly renovated theatre will provide our community with a safer, more energy-efficient facility for gatherings and events. These renovations will not only enhance the aesthetics of the lobby, but will open doors for new opportunities and entertainment in the area.”
Work is already underway in the lobby, and UTCA’s goal is to have it open by the end of 2018. This follows the successful completion of the phase I studio and classroom space earlier this year, and the addition of an original mural on the south side of the Genesee Street landmark. Restoration and improvement of the theatre area will begin in the next phase of the project.
UTCA Co-Founder Devin Mahoney explains, “The Uptown means so much to so many people. I grew up seeing movies here. Everyone just wants to see the doors open again and we see transforming the lobby as the way to make that happen as soon as possible. We’re thrilled to partner with The Community Foundation. Their support will keep the project moving forward.”
UTCA was established to restore the historic Uptown Theatre in order to provide Utica and the surrounding communities with diverse programming of excellence that inspires, educates, engages and entertains. The theatre serves as a cultural, economic and social asset for the region and catalyst for the revitalization of Utica’s historic uptown neighborhood. For more information on UTCA or current programming at the Uptown Theatre visit www.utcny.org.