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Theatre, Film Recommended for 311 W. Main Street

AMS Planning and Research gave early recommendations to the 311 W. Main Task Force in Lansdale Thursday night on what could be developed at the former arts center

The 311 W. Main St. former arts center needs between $3 million and $4 million to fix code issues, but whomever runs the facility will break even in the first five years.

AMS Planning and Research gave early recommendations to the 311 W. Main Task Force Thursday night for the future of the former arts center. Recommendations were culled from surveys, community interviews and market research.

According to a report in The Reporter, the bottom line is the borough needs to front a lot of money to fix the center, but a revitalized arts center could be a success in Lansdale.

According to the article, the task force now needs to mull over the recommendations and continue discussions on what to do with the building before bringing a solution to borough council.

So what is recommended for the center in this early stage? According to the article, user interviews and research led AMS to make the following projections of 311 W. Main St. to the task force:

  • 20 self-produced theatre shows per year in the first-floor theatre area
  • 20 theatre shows per year produced by area theatre groups and civic or nonprofit groups that can rent the space
  • Self-produced film showings
  • Rehearsals, classes and meetings
  • 24 shows in the lower-level classrooms and meeting rooms hosted by commercial or private musical or theatre groups
  • 125 gallery showings or meetings

AMS estimated the self-produced theatre shows and shows produced by theatre groups could draw 6,000 to 8,000 people per year.

Film showings and rehearsals could draw more than 200 frequently, according to the article.

The shows in the lower-level rooms could draw as many as 600 people in total, according to the article.

AMS projected a schedule of 190 events per year at 311 W. Main Street, according to the article.

Operating expenses were estimated at $374,000 in the first year, and peaking at $430,000 by the fifth year, according to the article.

Revenues would increase the same, with an inflection at the third year in operation, according to the article.

Rental income, ticket sales and concessions could bring in about $157,000 in the first year, according to the article, and grants and other outside sources could total $75,000.

Fundraising could bring in $40,000 for the center, the article states, and membership revenue could bring in $15,000.

According to the article, a draft plan estimates $73,000 given by the borough for operating expenses in the first year.

A nonprofit is recommended to run the facility, with a board of directors, according to the article. 

Two full-time staff positions and three part-time employees were recommended. The full-time employees would be a director and assistant director with experience in event coordination, according to the article. The part-timers would be volunteer coordinators, fundraising experts and a technical director, according to the article.

Read more about the consultant's report and public reaction at this link.

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