With a nip here and a tuck there, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is ready for its year-long 15th anniversary celebration.
On February 1, the Main Street theater reopened its doors to patrons following a six-week intermission used to spruce up the converted movie theater that has been operating as a performance hall since July 4, 1998. The roughly $250,000 renovation project, which started mid-December, was funded completely through private donations to the PAC.
“It looks brand new,” Carol Garone, the finance director for the PAC, said this week. “It has its original luster back.”
As part of the renovations, new carpets were installed throughout the theater, the stage floor was refinished, and a new lighting system replaces the antiquated one in the main lobby and hall. The gold trim throughout the theater was redone, and a new digital movie projector will replace the old 35-mm film projector, according to Jodi Giambrone, the public relations manager for the theater.
The refurbishment project was started by PAC Executive Director Clare Bisceglia in June as part of a celebration that will also mark her 10-year anniversary. She orchestrated the project as a way to give back to the greater Westhampton Beach community that she loves.
The PAC operates on an estimated $3 million annual budget, half of which must be raised through donations each year, and employs about a dozen full-time employees. Those workers are assisted by a small army of volunteers who organize fundraisers each year and also donate their time at the theater prior to, during and after performances.
“Without the generous support of this community, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center wouldn’t exist,” Ms. Bisceglia said in a release issued this week. “The refurbishment project is our way of giving back to the community and ensuring that this jewel-box of a theater will continue for another 15 years.”
Although the renovation work was officially completed on February 1, the theater is still accepting donations for future refurbishment endeavors. Those wishing to contribute should call Ms. Bisceglia at 631-288-2350, ext. 113.
“The 15th anniversary is going to be an exciting year,” Ms. Giambrone is quoted as saying in the same release. “There is going to be a lot of traffic coming to the theater, so we want everything to be in tip-top shape.”