LLC formed to renovate Schine’s Theater
By TIM FENSTER, JOHNSON NEWSPAPERS | Published by Watertown Daily Times
MAY 1, 2013
MASSENA — Village officials say they have assembled people to lead a limited liability company to renovate and reopen Schine’s Massena Theater downtown.
Town attorney Eric J. Gustafson said he and Schine’s owner Thomas Gramuglia have found enough interested people to operate the LLC, and have prepared paperwork that is under review by the state Education Department and the state Department of State.
Once the state agencies have approved the certificate, LLC members will be able to move ahead with fundraising ideas to help pay for the cost of the theater’s renovation.
“We’ve had a number of people who are interested,” Mr. Gustafson said. “The first step is to get the entity formed and then to form a fundraising plan.”
Mr. Gustafson said they hope to have approval from the state by the end of the summer.
Economic development officials acknowledge there’s a lot of work to be done, with renovations estimated at $500,000 to $750,000 required before the theater could reopen.
Michael V. Almasian, executive director of the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena, has called the restoration of the theater a “point of gravity” in discussions to use $250,000 in state grant funds to make renovations to buildings in Massena’s downtown.
A number of residents have commented on the restoration of the theater as a way to improve and increase economic activity downtown.
However, Mr. Gustafson pointed out the funding provided by the grant would be insufficient to cover a significant portion of the theater’s renovation costs.
“There’s a limited amount of revitalization funding. It won’t be the end of our fundraising efforts,” Mr. Gustafson said.
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