Grant allows CAC to upgrade equipment | News, Sports, Jobs


Modernizing its stage lighting and cinema projector is the next production being undertaken by the Community Arts Center, thanks to a $150,000 Keystone Communities Program grant administered by the state Department of Community & Economic Development and supported by Sen. Gene Yaw, chair of the Board of Directors for Pennsylvania College of Technology, the owner of the facility.

Enhancing its audiovisual capabilities will permit the historic theater to expand its arts offerings — including film screenings, as it has done in the past — and increase its festival space potential.

One of the top venues in the Northeast, the Community Arts Center presents a broad range of entertainment and is utilized by numerous local arts and educational organizations, including Penn College and Lycoming College.

“This investment not only modernizes the center’s current production capabilities, but creates a safer and more efficient working environment for its dedicated staff,” Yaw said. “I am honored to support the Community Arts Center’s growth, which brings so much value and culture to our region, and look forward to its bright future.”

“This generous grant will allow us to update our aging projection system and helps us take the first steps in modernizing our theatrical lighting appliances,” said Jim Dougherty, executive director of the CAC. “The lights in the cove areas of the theater ceiling will be the first to be replaced, significantly reducing the amount of personnel resources and costs required to manipulate lighting fixtures for theatrical shows.”

The current cove lighting was installed in 2008 and requires staff to manually adjust for color and angle. CAC staff will remove the existing tungsten lighting and replace each fixture with LED lighting that can be remotely operated. Staff will also remove the existing analog projection system and replace it with a new 4K digital projector.

“I’m thrilled about the Community Arts Center’s investment in the new 4K projector and what this upgrade means to film lovers,” said Leah Bedrosian Peterson, chair and professor of film and video arts at Lycoming College. “The brightness and color are stunning, and it will provide an outstanding image quality. We’re looking forward to bringing student films and festival screenings to the CAC.”

Originally operating as the Capitol Theatre, the Arts Center boasts a rich history dating back to its opening night on Oct. 22, 1928, when Williamsport enjoyed its first “talkie” with the showing of Al Jolson’s “The Singing Fool.” Many movies and live productions later, the facility fell into disuse and decay until Pennsylvania College of Technology acquired and renovated it, reopening it on May 8, 1993, as the Community Arts Center, a regional performing arts venue.

The CAC’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for the community by providing exceptional arts and entertainment events and participatory activities; offering programming that is appropriate to the diverse interests and needs of a regional audience, priced fairly to assure accessibility; providing complete and courteous service; and maintaining a warm and welcoming environment for guests.

For more information about giving opportunities, contact Ana Gonzalez-White, college relations officer in charge of development for the CAC, at 570-327-7657 or email [email protected].

The CAC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pennsylvania College of Technology, a national leader in applied technology education. For more information on the college, visit

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