LEWISTON – Northeast Bank has donated $25,000 to The Public Theatre renovation project. The theater is in the middle of a major capital campaign to raise funds to expand and renovate its location at 29 Maple St.

The $2.475 million project involves adding a new HVAC system, building new dressing rooms for the actors and improving the seating, bathrooms and exterior faade, to name a few of the enhancements to be undertaken.

To date the theater has raised more than $600,000 toward its goal and has enough funds to complete two of the four phases of the project.

“Having Northeast Bank on board is very exciting and moves us that much closer to completing our project,” said Christopher Shario, artistic director of the Public Theatre. “We are proud of our high quality performances utilizing Equity actors, and with the support of local organizations like Northeast, The Public Theatre will be allowed to improve its building and its production capabilities and therefore improve the scope and breadth of the performances.”

The theater project is a testimony to the grass roots efforts taking place to improve the Southern Gateway area of Lewiston and it follows in the footsteps of Northeast Bank, Oxford Networks, VIP Auto and Andover College, all of which have invested heavily in the area as part of a public-private initiative gaining statewide recognition.

The Public Theatre, which officially broke ground on the renovations Nov. 8, has been an institution in the Lewiston and Auburn area.

“As a new neighbor when we relocate our headquarters and operations center to the Gateway, we saw The Public Theatre project as one that made sense to support and we are proud of their efforts. The Public Theatre continues to demonstrate that the economic life of a community parallels its cultural life by fulfilling a need through their mission to provide culture affordably and attracting people to the Lewiston and Auburn area while remaining financially viable.” said Jim Delamater, president, and CEO of Northeast Bank.

In the 1930s The Public Theatre was a stylish movie theater known as the Ritz. Over the years, it deteriorated and in 1992 was renovated by The Public Theatre and re-opened for live performances. Information regarding the theater can be obtained by contacting the business office at 782-2211.

Information regarding Northeast Bank can be found on its Web site at www.northeastbank.com or by contacting 1-800-284-5989.

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