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Gaming Fund Investments Go Toward Community Economic Development

The Village Theater Company did not have enough money to break ground on the new cinema in Sewickley by its goal of June, but a new date can be set thanks to gaming revenues.

The state will award nearly $6.6 million in gaming revenues to 19 community and economic development projects in Allegheny County.

According to the Corbett administration, the projects will provide new opportunities for quality housing, business growth and job creation.

The $350,000 allotted to Brian Dugan, president of Village Theater Company, will go toward building a nonprofit movie theater.

“We think that providing a community theater for the broader Sewickley area, and Moon and Wexford and Ambridge that we will add tremendous value and vibrancy to a great community,” Dugan said.

The facility will have two theaters, one seating about 150 people and the other 225, with a gathering room to be utilized for different projects with local schools, Robert Morris University and the local YMCA.

The company needs a minimum of $1.5 million dollars to break ground for the theater, and they have $1.35 million with the addition of the grant from the Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund Program (GEDTF).

The GEDTF uses revenues from the Rivers Casino to fund community and economic development projects in Allegheny County.

Dugan said he believes the Village Theater Company received one of the grants because of its what they hope it will accomplish.

“The reason the Casino got approved is to give back to the community and better the surrounding area of Pittsburgh and we feel that is very consistent with what our mission is,” Dugan said.

He said he thinks the theater will spur economic development and will become a cultural asset.

“We think we’re going to be a key addition to the community to develop it in a way that this whole grant was designed,” Dugan said.

Other winners of the grants include the Allegheny Land Trust’s Redevelopment of Pittsburgh Cut Flower Property, the Sarah Heinz House Capital Improvement Project and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Inc.’s Facility Expansion.

Jess is from Elizabeth Borough, PA and is a junior at Duquesne University with a double major in journalism and public relations. She was named as a fellow in the WESA newsroom in May 2013.
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