Montrose Theatre renovation project receives EMHR funds

EMHR Director Cain Chamberlin presented Doug Overfield of the Montrose Restoration Committee with a grant for $1,000 to be used to complete the façade renovation of the Montrose Movie Theatre. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

With the restoration of the iconic 1040s era marquee at the Montrose Movie Theatre complete, the façade renovation of the Susquehanna County’s only movie house is nearly done.

Up next is the updating of the side poster boxes which will be lighted to match the marquee, said Montrose Restoration Committee’s (MRC) Doug Overfield.

That project got a boost last week as the MRC received a $1,000 mini-grant from the Endless Mountains Heritage Region.

EMHR Director Cain Chamberlin said the organization – one of 12 of the state’s heritage areas – wanted to help complete the façade renovation using the small amount of remaining funds from this year’s grant round. Funding for EMHR projects primarily comes from the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

EMHR’s mini-grants provide financial support to heritage partners across the four-county region it serves of Susquehanna, Bradford, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. The grants require a 100 percent match.

The cost of the poster box project is about $2,000. Overfield said, once completed, “It will pretty much put the finishing touches on the front of the theater.”

The Montrose Movie Theatre first opened its doors in 1917. The marquee and box office were added in the 1940s. The Quigg family purchased the theater in the 1990s, making several updates. In 2000, it was donated to the Montrose Restoration Committee.

The MRC has continued to upgrade and repair the theatre building, while contracting the operation of the movie business to individual operators. 

The MRC updated the 35mm projector to a fully digital projection system. In addition to the digital projector, the sound system was updated to a Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound system. 

Renovations continue at the theater. Once the poster boxes are completed, the next major project will include a renovation of the lobby area, according to Overfield.

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