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Allentown Civic Theatre's History Honored | WDIY Local News

Civic Theatre of Allentown

The Civic Theatre opened in Allentown in 1927 and has served as a go-to spot for performances, plays, musicals and more since then.

Now the theater is getting its earned recognition, according to a press release, thanks to a designation adding the 19th Street Theatre on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over its almost 100 years of history and throughout the nearly 400 productions that have graced the Civic Theatre’s stage, tens of thousands of visitors have passed through the marquee doors and sat in the seats.

William Sanders, the theater’s Managing Artistic Director, said earning this designation has been a long process, but has been worth it to celebrate the place that’s “served as a home for actors and artists” as well as teachers, authors, businesspeople, choreographers, and leaders of our community. That list couldn’t make his point more clear – “we are all Civic Theatre.”

The process of pushing for the historic designation started many years ago with previous board members and managing directors. The nomination was finally accepted in September, and it was listed on the National Park Service website last week.

This designation was given based on the building’s “historic qualities and architecture.” The building is currently undergoing some renovations, which will include the addition of rehearsal rooms and a more waterproof facade.

Representatives of the theater are hopeful that this new honor will draw in donors and grants to gain the needed funds to complete these projects.

A full timeline of the Civic Theatre’s history, as well as ways to support the theater in its continued growth, can be found at civictheatre.com.

James is the News and Public Affairs Director for WDIY. He reports on stories in the Lehigh Valley and across the state which impact the region, along with managing WDIY's volunteers who help create the station's diverse line-up of public affairs programs.
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