New group takes over the­ater

The Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Jar­reau Free­man

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

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