Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Denis Theatre needs your help now!

I run by the old Denis Theatre most mornings and gaze wistfully at the handful of abandoned theatre seats huddled in the lobby.  It must've been something to have an art house theatre in our town and to easily make a night of it by seeing a high-quality movie and following it with dinner or a nightcap.  Sure, I could still do this by driving to Squirrel Hill but that's a much longer drive -- and there's no parking!

Anne Kememer, the energetic presence spearheading The Denis Theatre Foundation, is trying to do something about this, and make Mt. Lebanon a better place along the way.  Studies show that a business district is greatly enhanced if it possesses one of three things:  a movie theatre, a bookstore or a grocery store.  The Denis is already in place, it's just waiting to be brought back to life.  When it is, it should be a magnet for folks from throughout the South Hills who want to make a night of it...with parking!  Anne's vision for the Denis is much more than simply an art house screen or two.  She envisions a social/cultural space that could host small parties, live music, community meetings and even encourage the filmmakers of the future.

What Anne and the Foundation need most right now is our collective help so they can close on the purchase of the building by February 2010 and move forward with the initial $2.5 million renovation phase (phase one gets the theatre up and running, phase two adds community features).  "We need the people who have the means to make this happen to step forward now or we could lose the Denis forever," says Anne.

To that end, The Denis Theatre Foundation is staging "Raise the Curtain," a full-tilt party/fundraiser in the stunning Mt. Washington home of Peter Karlovich (MtL Class of 1978) and Steven Herforth on Saturday, February 6.  Tickets are $250 per person ($230 is tax deductible) and ticket sales will be the primary revenue producer.  Send your request for tickets to Anne at akemerer at denistheatre dot org.  If your dance card is open, please consider this worthwhile event.  You'll have a great time while giving back to the community you call home.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to see you have mentioned this on your Blog. This is exactly what our town needs. We have just moved back after living in LA and NYC for many years and we have been pleasantly surprised with the Pittsburgh art scene, fabulous new restaurants, and an overall feeling of "Hey we do live in a cool place". I love living in Mt. Lebanon and it is fantastic that we are only 15-20 minutes from the Cultural District, the Strip, Lawrenceville, my beloved Trader Joes, ect. However, to have a hip art house/cultural space right up the street....well that would certainly make this exhausted (I am too young to feel this way!) mother of a 3 year old very happy. Also someone needs to open up a fab Tapas/Wine bar in Uptown. An Art House and a Tapas/Wine Bar... now that would be cool.


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