CAC marking 25 years of excellence as local destination

A little more than 25 years ago, the Capitol Theater stood on West Fourth Street as a proud monument to Williamsport history – but an uncertain part of its future.

The building was no longer a movie-watching destination and was decaying on the inside.

But along came an idea to change what the building stood for.

A campaign was launched with funding to acquire and renovate the Capitol Theater and create the Community Arts Center.

The ambitious, visionary effort was spearheaded by Pennsylvania College of Technology, the Williamsport/Lycoming Foundation (now First Community Foundation Partnership) and the City of Williamsport.

The rest, as they say, is history.

And, a quarter century later, the track record illustrates a richly successful history.

The Community Arts Center is celebrating its 25th season this year under the same management setup in the modernized yet still historical building.

The arts center, by any measure, is a local destination that ties the community together like no other building.

It gives birth to local entertainment entities, is home to a very special symphony and hosts nationally known individuals and groups representing music, comedy, dance and various other attractions.

An understated positive factor, but very obvious on any night the Community Arts Center is hosting an event, is the economic windfall the building creates.

Estimates are that for every dollar of ticket cost, eight more dollars of economic impact are created.

Any observer of the high volume of human business activity downtown – particularly at restaurants – on a night when the Community Arts Center is hosting an event, would agree with that projection.

It costs money – big money, in many instances – to fill the entertainment calendar at the Community Arts Center every year.

So it has always taken a certain degree of philanthropy for the Arts Center to remain viable. That will remain true in the future.

We would say that the track record of the past quarter century merits the philanthropy necessary to continue making the Community Arts Center a treasured local destination.