RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Lamp Theatre

Original Relight The Lamp Members Stepping Down

Relight the Lamp members at the Marquee Mixer

Relight the Lamp members at the Marquee Mixer

Two and a half years ago, a small but growing group of us banded together to show our support for the restoration of the Lamp Theatre.

After talking it over at mind-numbingly extensive length, we have decided to decline our position on the interim board of directors for the Lamp Theatre project. Due to the project’s time constraints and family and career obligations, we won’t be able to continue in our leadership roles.

Ultimately, we achieved the goal that we set for the organization over two years ago, which was to make sure the Lamp Theatre was revitalized. That process has begun, and we leave it in the very capable hands of the interim board.

Thank you for your support over the last few years. We respect your time and the trust you have placed in us.

We’ll be handing over the digital reins of the organization to a new crew. Things will probably look and sound different, but it’s all in support of the same worthy goal.

We still wholeheartedly support the success of the Lamp Theatre, and wish the interim board the very best of luck. We hope they know that we are deeply supportive of this project, and will continue to make ourselves available as committed volunteers.

If you or someone you know are interested in donating or volunteering, we’re sure they’d love to hear from you.

Thank you!

Kathleen Heuer
Karen Glass
Kelly Fennessy
and the rest of the original team

P.S. Kathleen started a new organization, the Norwin Area Arts Council, as a labor of love and another way to support the local arts community and the Lamp Theatre Project. If you’d like to support the NAAC, click here to subscribe to that email list. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Photo Walk: Week of July 29, 2013

Posted on

I took another photo walk this week! Thanks to Karen Glass for snapping the shot of the brand new front doors.

Baby steps

Posted on

Irwin logo

We have some news on the Lamp! In January, Irwin Council authorized borough manager Mary Benko to get an assessment of the property. At this week’s meeting, Irwin Council authorized her to apply for a loan in the amount of $150,000, the amount that needs to be ponied up in order to “unlock” the grant money from Westmoreland County and the state.

Though I unfortunately was unable to attend this meeting myself, it was well documented: 3 different reporters wrote up accounts. From the articles:

“The motion was not on the agenda. It later was added to the order of business following a nearly hour-long executive session, during which councilors discussed real estate and personnel matters.”

“Council approved the motion 6-0 on Wednesday.…Cassandro emphasized that council is not accepting money, nor are they making a commitment to refurbishing the 1937 theater — just considering it.”

“Mike Langer, cultural trust president, said bids to rehabilitate the theater came in between $300,000 and $400,000 higher than expected, and the project stalled.”

“‘We weren’t expecting bids to come in $300,000 over our budget,’ Cassandro said. ‘But we’re worried if we don’t move, that state and county funding may not be there much longer.…’ Cassandro said council plans to continue exploring the possibility of purchasing the 72-year-old structure, making the borough the sole owner of the theater. In January, council ordered an appraisal of the property, but has not discussed it publicly.”

Cassandro said the borough remains in negotiations to purchase the property.

“Nothing has changed hands,” Cassandro said. “It’s still an option. It’s still part of what we’re doing here. It’s also a historical landmark. It’s an important part of our history.

“I don’t think putting all this money into a theater, without us owning it, is even an option right now,” Cassandro said.

“We’re working on plenty of fronts here. We’re working on financing. We’re working on acquisition of the building. We’re working on the beginnings of operating the theater. None of that may even happen.

“We’re doing things that we have to do because if you don’t have them in place they’ll never get done. We’re taking this one step at a time. We’re not at the finish line yet.”

Relight the Lamp, a group formed in 2011 of Irwin area residents dedicated to reopening the entertainment venue, remains a part in the theater’s revival, Cassandro said.

Any questions? Lots, I know. Me too. But I’m glad that we’ve taken a couple of steps forward, even if they are baby steps.

What do you think?

The latest twist in the continuing saga: Irwin council considers buying Lamp Theatre

Posted on

The Lamp Theater on August 24, 2012

The latest on the Lamp:

“Irwin council is considering purchasing the Lamp Theatre.

“Council President John Cassandro said council is exploring the possibility of purchasing the 72-year-old structure, making the borough the sole owner of the theater.

“’It’s an option we’re exploring, and in order to do that, we have to determine the value of the building,’ Cassandro said. “This has a lot to do with getting the funding in place for this, and how quickly we have to move.”

Last week, Irwin council gave manager Mary Benko permission to spend no more than $1,000 to hire an appraiser to determine the market value of the Lamp Theatre.…

“Relight the Lamp, which is a committee of the Irwin Business & Professionals Association [Irwin Project], conducted fundraising to help offset the borough’s contribution. The group helped raise approximately $70,000 so far, according to Relight the Lamp member Kathleen Heuer.

“Heuer said the organization is excited about the possibility of borough ownership. The theater will help boost the local economy, she added.

“’A facility like this will build on the improvements Irwin has made along Main Street,’ Heuer said. ‘It will infuse the Norwin area not only with cash spent here, but with movies, music and the arts, which improve everyone’s quality of life.’

“Benko said borough officials have not discussed who would run the theatre or future involvement with the Westmoreland Cultural Trust.

“’We’re not at that point yet, since this is so preliminary,’ Benko said. ‘We can’t do anything without getting this appraisal done.

“’Even after it’s done, who knows? It could go nowhere.'”

Read the full story:

Not if we have anything to say about it! Oh, and if you go to read the full article, feel free to leave a comment. Walter is not in favor of this project, apparently.

New Years Resolution

Posted on

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year! You may be wondering what’s going on with the Lamp. Quite frankly, so are we! Things were put on hold, and we’re still in that holding pattern, due to circumstances beyond our control. As involved as we are, we’re really only cheerleaders on the sidelines. The coaches and players have been huddled up an awfully long time.

But we are still here, and still committed to restoring the crown jewel of downtown Irwin, PA. With that glorious goal in mind, we resolve to stay positive and proactive in 2013. Never say die! We’ve always battled naysayers, but nothing great ever happened from listening to them.

This goal will never come to fruition unless the Norwin community resolves to make it happen. With that in mind, what are YOUR hopes and dreams for the future of the Lamp Theatre?