New group takes over theater
Besides being beloved historical landmarks where locals can catch WKH ODWHVW EORFNEuVWHU, LNGLH fiOP RU satisfy feelings of nostalgia with a Bogart classic the Ambler Theater in downtown Ambler and the County Theater in Doylestown share another commonality — they are both managed by Renew Theaters Inc.
Come May 20 Jenkintown’s very own Hiway Theatre will be joining the Renew cluster after the Hiway Board of Directors entered into an open-ended contract with Renew to manage the theater in early April.
Though there had been discussions in years past about management changes, as the board reviewed its fiNDNFHV, ORRNHG WR SuUFKDVH D GLJLtal cinema projector and looked at the future of the theater, it decided it would “make sense” to bring Renew on board to run the theater in order WR VuVWDLN LW fiNDNFLDOOy, VDLG H[HFutive director of Renew Theaters and member of the Hiway Board of Directors John Toner May 13.
When asked if the change was a UHVuOW RI fiNDNFLDO VWUuJJOHV, 7RNer said he wouldn’t describe it as “struggling,” but did say that it is GLIfiFuOW WR RSHUDWH D VLNJOH-VFUHHN theater under any circumstances.
“I think the board and the Hiway team has done a good job all things considered,” he said.
The Hiway, which has been operDWLNJ DV DN LNGHSHNGHNW, NRNSURfiW WKHDWHU VLNFH 2003, wLOO EHNHfiW IURP Renew’s 20-plus years of management expertise, said Hiway board President Jonathan Wilt.
“None of the board members are professional theater managers and we don’t know all we need to know,” Wilt said May 15. “Renew is layers ahead of us in website design and advertisement and I am really excited about that. This [change] will help with the renewal and revival of downtown Jenkintown. We are all JRLNJ WR EHNHfiW.”
With a budget of roughly $500,000 a year, one of the ways Renew will help the Hiway is through savings in areas like advertising, salaries and EHNHfiW FRVWV, :LOW VDLG.
“In terms of employment, the administrative staff such as the executive director and the chief projectionist — they will be seeking other employment opportunities,” Toner said. “But in terms of the day-to-day