UDCDA Receives Funding to Renovate the Uptown Theater on Bailey Avenue

The University District Community Development Association was awarded a $150,000 grant through the New York State’s 3rd Annual Regional Economic Development Council Awards.  The funds will be used to rehabilitate the Uptown theater located on Bailey Avenue.  The Theater was built in 1926, when it was originally known as “The Varsity,” and served as an anchor for the neighborhood for many years, before falling into disrepair. The current owner, Abraham Cisse, purchased the theater in 2010. At that time, he put approximately $85,000.00 into the building to bring it into working condition and to rehabilitate the office from which he runs a computer business. However, the theater is still in need of rehabilitation work to allow the public to use it comfortably. Central to this is an upgraded heating and cooling system, to bring the theater up to code and to provide proper ventilation so that the approximately 630 seats can be comfortable occupied. The possible uses for this theater are many and varied.

The University District Community Development Association, Inc.  runs youth programs that would utilize the theater space for its programming.  In addition, the Theater is adjacent to a new early childhood center and a block away from the Westminster Charter School.  The Theater will serve both of these institutions for school events and performances.