anticipated at Christmas
Duane Good, EDITOR
The new Colonnade Theater
is scheduled to open later this year at
257 Center St. in Millersburg as a
single screen movie theater/performing
arts center/arts education venue
(Rendering courtesy of Craig Zimmerman,
Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates).
State Rep. Sue Helm,
Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries
and Millersburg Borough Council
President Chris Dietz join Twin Valley
Players officials and other principals
in symbolically breaking ground for the
new theater May 16.
First of Two Parts
Traditionally, many ‘‘big’’ films
are released during the Christmas season.
This year, some of those films
may be playing in the Sentinel’s coverage area.
That’s the aim of the
Halifax-based Twin Valley Players theater group,
which now owns the building on Center Street in
Millersburg that housed the former Colonnade
Theater for 80 years.
‘‘We will have to open before
Christmas because it’s such a big period for
movies,’’ Nathan Troutman, a TVP board member
who is helping to spearhead the project, said
last week. ‘‘We definitely want to have a
Christmas movie season in Millersburg.’’
The Colonnade will open its
‘‘second act’’ with what organizers said will be
the regular showing – on weekends, most likely –
of newly released major-studio films, augmented
by full digital projection (on a single screen),
surround sound and stadium seating, with
capacity of about 150.
‘‘Our goal is a top notch, ‘best
in class’ experience for moviegoers,’’ Troutman
‘‘I think watching films in a
single-screen theater is a more personalized
experience,’’ Dr. Todd Hoover, who also is
helping Troutman with project leadership, said.
‘‘We toured a lot of single-screen facilities
when we were creating this, so we could make
sure we were designing this in a way that people
will have an experience they will want to come
That ‘‘experience’’ also is to
benefit other businesses in the Millersburg
area, as theater patrons shop and eat while in
town, organizers noted.
The TVP already has enlisted the
help of Marvin Troutman – whose family-run
business, Cinema Centers Inc., operated the
Colonnade for more than 40 years – to work with
them on all that’s involved in running the new
Regarding parking, ‘‘We have
agreements in place with the Millersburg Fire
Co. and Mid Penn Bank, both of which have lots a
block up the street,’’ Troutman said.
The original Colonnade – built in
1919 as a single-screen facility – was not sound
structurally and could not be retained, the men
said. However, vestiges of the building’s days
as a popular movie house will remain, they
The outside marquee with its
raised ‘‘C’’ will be refurbished and placed
inside as part of the concession area. Vintage
film projectors, film reels, tickets and posters
all will be displayed in the lobby.
‘‘When you come in, you will see
the building’s history. A lot of people have a
lot of memories here, and we were sensitive to
that,’’ Troutman said.
The current north-south seating
arrangement – in which patrons entered behind
the screen, then turned to face it – also will
not be retained; the new facility’s
screen/seating area runs east-west, organizers
said. The new building will have room to expand
if necessary. The facility was designed by Craig
Zimmerman of the engineering firm of Crabtree
Rohrbaugh and Associates.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the
new facility was held May 16. Plans call for
demolition to start in earnest during the week
of Sunday, May 26 to Saturday, June 1 and the
work probably will only take a few days.
The new, $1.7-million structure
will serve as both a movie theater and – when
films are not being screened – a venue for live
music and theater performances, other live
presentations and educational opportunities in
the arts for area students.
Funding was provided by one state
and one county grant, each worth $750,000. The
state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Grant was
secured by Rep. Sue Helm and Sen. John Gordner,
while money from the county Office of Community
and Economic Development was secured by
Commissioner Jeff Haste.
According to the TVP, the
remaining financing of $200,000 is being
provided by Harrisburg-based Integrity Bank. The
bank also has provided a $750,000 bridge loan so
work on the new facility can begin.
Dr. Thomas Hottenstein, a trustee
of the Bradenbaugh-Hottenstein Foundation,
announced May 16 the awarding of $125,000 to the
theater’s Capital Campaign in recognition of the
TVP’s commitment to the arts and arts education.
Public donatons to the project
can be sent to: Twin Valley Players, Colonnade
Project, P.O. Box 138, Halifax 17032. Or, email
TVPTheater@epix.net or call 692-3453
At the ceremony, which was
attended by legislators and county officials,
the TVP once again praised those in government
who stepped forward to make the grant money
possible, as well as all others who made
contributions, incuding business and individual
(Coming Soon: How the new
Colonnade will be a means to the end of enhanced
performing arts and arts education programs in
the Sentinel’s coverage area.)