NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> Area residents are invited to support the upcoming renovations at the historic Newtown Theatre by attending The “Reel” Garden Party on Thursday, July 15 at 6:30 p.m. in Newtown Borough (rain date July 22). This outdoor cocktail party will include an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and special auction items. Cost is $50 per person and tickets can be purchased at TheNewtownTheatre.com/events/garden-party.
The party will be held at the home of Newtown residents and theatre supporters David and Andrea Page. All proceeds from the party will support the theatre’s phase I internal renovation that will kick off later this summer.
Renovation plans call for a new hardwood floor and vintage-style seats on the first floor, a new coat of paint on the inside of the building, the addition of a wheelchair lift in front of the theatre and a fully accessible first-floor toilet room, and the addition of a sprinkler system in the auditorium.
Cost of this phase is nearly $600,000. The theatre expects to close in August to start the renovations and reopen on Dec. 1. Additional renovation phases will follow in the coming years.
Located on North State Street in Newtown Borough, the Newtown Theatre is an historic, 300-seat theatre that dates to the 1800s. Originally built as a hall for town gatherings and a non-sectarian church for traveling ministers, it soon became a center of entertainment in Newtown.
Throughout the 1850s, the theatre hosted anti-slavery meetings, which included sermons by Lucretia Mott and Frederick Douglass. In 1906 the first movie was shown, making it the nation’s oldest continuously operating movie theater. Today, the theatre offers a full slate of movies, concerts, comedy shows, and live theater.
For more information about the renovations and how to support the theatre, visit TheNewtownTheatre.com/renovations.
In other theatre news, a series of free kids’ movies continues on July 14 with a screening of "Minions" and July 28 featuring "The Spongebob Movie." Each movie will be screened at 10 a.m. with the addition of a special 1 p.m. sensory friendly screening. The free movies are made possible by presenting sponsor Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., Attorneys at Law.
No reservations or tickets are required, but summer camps that want to bring children to the 10 a.m. screenings must register by emailing email@example.com. Seating is first come, first served and doors open one hour before show time.
During the 1 p.m. sensory friendly screenings, the house lights will be turned up slightly and the movie sound turned down slightly. These screenings are a special opportunity for individuals on the autism spectrum and others to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment.
Per Pennsylvania guidelines after May 31, the theatre has no crowd-size restrictions, but unvaccinated patrons are asked to wear masks inside the theatre while not eating or drinking.