VACANT - The membership of CAT has given the go ahead for their board to acquire the old Uptown Cinema Centre in Red Deer.

CAT acquiring Uptown Theatre

Central Alberta Theatre is in negotiations to purchase the old Uptown Theatre downtown.

According to a release, the membership of CAT has given the go ahead for their board to acquire the old Uptown Cinema Centre which has been vacant for several years.

William Trefry, executive director, said the theatre company’s membership is thrilled with the concept of expanding into the City’s downtown core.

“The membership is really excited – there’s a lot of buzz going on right now,” he said.

He also said the 12,500 sq. ft. facility “fits in nicely with our long term vision and goals for Central Alberta Theatre.”

He first presented the idea of acquiring the privately-owned facility to the board about one month ago.

Trefry said the plan is to eventually have two stages within the facility for theatrical productions and live entertainment. There will also be one large room which will be available for a number of functions or receptions.

The largest theatre, after renovations, should seat about 360 people.

He said the purchase would also be a good compliment to CAT’s current venue and home at CAT Studios attached to the Red Deer Memorial Centre. That’s where CAT has been housed since 1994 after wrapping up a major addition to the building in 2001.

Meanwhile, negotiations are moving forward with an official announcement and more details about the project to be announced at CATena, a preview of CAT’s upcoming season slated for tonight (Sept. 8) at the Memorial Centre.

There will be readings from all this season’s productions, entertainment and some other announcements for start-up of CAT’s 41st season. Things get underway at 7 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.

Trefry, who took over as CAT’s executive director this past May, said the board hopes to have negotiations completed later this month and renovations starting this fall as well.

If all goes according to plan, the new multi-use venue would be available for booking in the first half of 2011.

Central Alberta Theatre was founded in 1970 from an amalgamation of Parkland Players and Red Deer Musical Theatre. With only a few members and rehearsing out of basements and school gymnasiums the group initially focused its talents on presenting main stage productions at the Red Deer Memorial Centre.

Properties, costumes and sets were stored in and around Red Deer, namely the basements and garages of various members.

Members of Central Alberta Theatre eventually voted to approach the City of Red Deer to take over the operation of the Memorial Centre. In 1994 an agreement was made between the two parties.

Expansions were later made to the Memorial Centre for storage, offices and rehearsal space. That part of the facility opened in the fall of 2002.

Just Posted

Hee-Won Son takes home gold in 500m Female Short Track Speed Skating

Team Alberta sits in second place overall at the Canada Winter Games

Alberta’s Pascale Paradis earns bronze in 7.5 km Female Biathlon

Canada Games action carries through to March 2nd

Alberta earns three medals in Long Track Speed Skating

Alberta now has 16 medals (6-5-5) and currently sits in second place of the medal standings

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

Shots fired in Maskwacis home invasion

Maskwacis RCMP are searching for three suspects in a home invasion (with photos)

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Crude-by-rail shipments set new record in December despite lower price discounts

Canada exported nearly 354,000 barrels per day of oil, up seven per cent from November

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

Maskwacis woman dead, Wetaskiwin man charged with murder

RCMP Major Crimes Unit charge male with first degree murder

Most Read