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Capitol Theatre gets another federal financial boost

February 18, 2004|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., dropped by the Capitol Theatre Tuesday afternoon and dropped off a ceremonial check for $125,000 in federal funding to continue restoration of the 77-year-old theater.

Since Downtown Chambersburg Inc. purchased the theater for $110,000 in 1996, more than $3.3 million in state and federal funds have been allocated to restore the old theater and build the adjoining cultural arts center, according to figures from William Gindlesperger, a Downtown Chambersburg board member.

Another $400,000 came from the Wood Foundation and $1.3 million in pledges have been raised for the center's endowment trust fund, Gindlesperger said.

Another $800,000 in renovations and construction still need to be done to the center, he said.

Downtown Chambersburg President Paul Cullinane said the replacement of the theater's aging roof, painting and restoration of the auditorium and installation of a service elevator are among the work that still needs to be done.

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Santorum said politicians in Washington, D.C, hear a lot of complaints about how funding is earmarked for projects, but "if we don't designate money for specific projects, someone else is going to designate it."

The senator said projects such as the Capitol Theatre are important to maintaining the economic vitality of downtowns. The money comes from the 2004 omnibus spending package for the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, he said.

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