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Theatre Quick Update!
* 2022 Friday Night Live-
10 events are planned for the outdoor stage July-
*The exterior of the new Theatre & Community Arts Center
was completed in December 2021
*Ground was broken on April 5th, 2021 for the new Theatre & Community Arts Center
*Gateway Milbridge received a $20,000 C.F. Adams Foundation match challenge for the theatre building fund! Thank you!
*Gateway Milbridge received a $15,000 grant from the Betterment Fund for the theatre building fund! Thank you!
* Gateway Milbridge received $20,000 thanks to a $10,000 match challenge fundraiser from Wyman's of Maine for the theatre building fund! Thank you!!
*Gateway Milbridge received $15,000 thanks to a match challenge from Machias Savings Bank for the theatre building fund! Thank you!!
*Gateway Milbridge received a $5,000 donation from Camden National Bank for the theatre building fund! Thank you!
*Gateway Milbridge received a $25,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation for the theatre building fund! Thank you!
*The Outdoor Stage has been moved to its new Waterfront Location.
*Gateway Milbridge received a $15,000 Morton Kelly Charitable Trust grant for the theatre building fund! Thank you!
*The 20 permanent flower planters along Main St. have continued to do well and will be changed out seasonally.
The Milbridge Theatre and Community Arts Center-
A Regional Community Development Effort by Gateway Milbridge
What is Gateway Milbridge?
Gateway Milbridge is a non-
What is the “Bring Back the Milbridge Theatre” project?
As one of our projects, Gateway Milbridge is organizing an effort to rebuild and reopen the Milbridge Theatre as a modern full service theatre and community arts center serving Milbridge and the surrounding communities. The new, combined theatre and community arts center will provide us with a flexible venue and community gathering space for film and expanded options/events including educational programming, live music, lectures, and stage performances.
Why is the Milbridge Theatre so important to Milbridge?
The theatre has been a community icon since it was built in 1937. Area residents relied on the theatre for entertainment and gathering because such opportunities here are few and often a great distance away. It was one of the few facilities Milbridge had for creating a strong sense of community and belonging for our residents of all ages. Generations of our region's youth spent countless weekends of their lives at this theatre engaging in much-
Small towns and regions like ours face many difficult headwinds these days, and redevelopment projects, such as bringing back the Milbridge Theatre, are critical to the region's economy and our residents' quality of life. The new theatre and community arts center will not only provide our region with a venue for film, community gathering space, educational programming, and live performances, but it can create jobs, engage volunteers/students, attract visitors to the area, spur economic activity, and fill a critical commercial anchor in the center of our town.
Why was much of the theatre torn down – couldn’t we restore the existing building?
Professional architects and engineers worked on options for renovation and reconstruction. The building had deteriorated significantly, and the most practical approach was to remove the structurally unsound sections and rebuild it. We are committed to restoring as many historic and sentimental items of the original theatre as possible, such as the candy counter, ticket counter, and other items. Proposed plans include a new building with a street-
Is there a plan for the new theatre’s long term operation – how will it succeed?
Yes. We were awarded a grant from the Maine Community Foundation funding a feasibility study and long term business plan for the sustainability, design, programming, and operation of the theatre. Extensive interviews and financial reviews with other regional theatres show the project is viable and sustainable. The plan has been completed by a Portland group which focuses on business plans for non-
How much will it cost to build a new theatre and how long will it take?
This is a large undertaking and trying to do it all at once would be very difficult. That's why we broke it down into more easily achievable phases while still keeping the overall project in mind. Each phase is designed to provide immediate, tangible benefits: acquiring the land and building, preserving historic items, removing the dilapidated building, creating a park-
How will this project be paid for-
Funding is coming from a variety of sources, including private donations, business donations, foundation grants, public grants for community development, and significant volunteer efforts. No funding is being sought or provided from the town government or local tax dollars. Although the theatre will likely be operated as a non-
Funding for phases 1 through 3 (approximately $95,000) was sought primarily through local donations from individuals and businesses in the immediate region along with small grants from within the state. By receiving the funding for these three phases from a broad base of local donors, it allows us to demonstrate local and regional project support which positions us to receive the larger corporate donations and larger matching grants necessary to fully fund phase 4, the construction and equipping of the new building.
What has been accomplished so far?
How can I learn more?
Complete information about the Milbridge Theatre project and how to contact us is available online at MilbridgeTheatre.org. Area residents sit on the Board of Directors, and are always willing to talk about this beloved project as well as our other projects for revitalizing downtown Milbridge.
How can I help?
Your support is critical to this project. Please help us by spreading the word about our efforts. Sign up on our website for updates, and "like" us on our Facebook page. Contact us with your ideas, comments, and questions at any time. Attend a fundraising event. Join us as a volunteer. Donate online or in person.
How can people or businesses make a donation?
Gateway Milbridge is a 501c3 designated nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-
You can make a tax-
Check donations may be made payable and sent to:
Gateway Milbridge, PO Box 62, Milbridge, ME 04658
Project Fact Sheet
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