This has been an ongoing process for over a year now. The preliminary new owners are excited to start work on this multi-purpose facility project.
Back in 2019, Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership launched a pilot program, showing classic movies at the State Theater to gauge local interest and attract buyers.
Over a year later, Eric and Amanda Reighard stepped in.
The Johnstown natives moved to Baltimore for a few years but are now back and looking forward to this opportunity to bring a bit of their experiences in Baltimore to Johnstown.
“We could totally do that for Johnstown, because Johnstown has so many other cool, rare aspects that other urban centers don’t have. You could have someone traveling to Johnstown to see the symphony play on Friday night, stay right at the theater, have this world-class experience and then wake up on Saturday morning and be on class three rapids with Coal Tubin’.” says preliminary owner Eric Reighard
After being selected among three finalist by Johnstown officials, they hope to turn the State Theater into a multi-purpose facility. Since the theater was built in the 20s, a world-renowned designer is coming to Johnstown to help remodel it with a 1920s speakeasy style that would include staff dressing up in 1920s fashion and a secret entrance. Also included, would be screening rooms, classrooms for the arts, a performing arts venue, a recording studio and lodging suites for out of town guest.
“We want to make this more about what an experience is like, rather than act like modern day theaters, where they sell you a ticket, sit you down, fill you up with popcorn and drinks and then get you out as soon as possible for the next screening. We’re focused on how do we make a really awesome experience for someone choosing to come here that will also get people excited to come to Johnstown.” said Reighard
The transformation of the theater, located in Conemaugh Health System’s Lee Campus, could change the social life in downtown Johnstown.
“The theater is a key project here. It can provide a much needed entertainment venue here downtown. This would help us with our other economic development efforts, as far as trying to attract other business and people to live in our city.” says Johnstown’s Economic Development Director John Dubnansky
They have organized investors for the multi-million dollar project, which could take years to complete.