Woodstock to play $100K role in theater expansion

WOODSTOCK – The city’s plan to help Woodstock Theatre with a $4.8 million expansion materialized this week.

City Council members voted to allocate $100,000 from the city’s tax increment financing district fund for Main Street improvements around the historical theater, 209 Main St.

The improvements will be done in two parts. The first will center new water and sewer services. Construction crews will remove the brick on Main Street to install a new system and replace the brick afterward. Sidewalks will be torn up and replaced with temporary walks during the first phase, which started this week.

“We wanted to get this done, and then the city won’t be holding them up at all,” City Manager Tim Clifton said.

The first phase will cost about $48,000. Clifton said it’s unclear how much the second phase will cost. In all, the theater’s owners have asked for $400,000 from the city’s TIF fund.

The city will install a permanent walkway and replace curbs during the second phase, which will start once the theater is finished.

The theater is expanding from four screens to eight and restoring the 85-year-old auditorium to its original form, including an authentic dome ceiling.

Tivoli Enterprises, which owns the theater, has set late summer 2013 as a tentative completion date for the project. The theater plans to remain open during expansion. Two theaters currently are operating.

Because the theater exists in a tight downtown area, there could be some major inconveniences with traffic and parking during construction, Clifton said.

In the end, though, the city suspects the theater’s completion will bring more foot traffic to the area, he said. “It will increase the amount of pedestrian traffic and visitors to the Square that will then shop at the stores and eat at the restaurants,” he said.

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