Milton Theatre Finds A New Owner - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Milton Theatre Finds A New Owner

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MILTON, Del. - A quiet Sunday afternoon in downtown Milton is quiet, not just because it's Sunday, but because there's not much in the downtown.  

On Peter Dernoden's 100 foot walk through town to a restaurant, he passes almost half a dozen vacant storefronts.     

"You see a lot of potential 18:19 but you don't see really, a lot of substance going on right now," says Dernoden.

It's a reality Lisa Sumstine, Executive Director of the Milton Chamber of Commerce, doesn't deny.     

"We've struggled obviously.  You can look around town and see that we've got some empty space down here," she says.

Some are being renovated, others are just sitting, but Lisa sees this dark marquee as a beacon of hope.  More than three years after the last curtain call, the Milton Theatre is set to re-open this spring.

It was purchased last year, and recently leased to the Premier Centre for the Arts, a Middletown based theater company.

For some people here in Milton, reopening the theater is more than just another business popping up.  It's a chance to bring in visitors who might not have given the town a second look.

"I think that we're going to get that kind if person that says 'well, I've never been to Milton before, but I'm coming for this show, or coming for this art opening'," says Sumstine, "we're very hopeful right now in Milton that there's great things to come."

Milton is also home to two of the businesses in Delaware's Pop-Up program, which gives three months free rent to small businesses looking to open shop in the state's downtowns.

The Premier Center for the Arts is plans to host classes at the theatre, as well as performances.

The company is looking to open up this May, but is asking for volunteers to help get the building ready to meet that goal.

If you're interested in helping, contact Fred Munzert at PCA fredmunzert@pcade.com or 302-378-1384 or Lisa Sumstine at the Milton Chamber of Commerce chamber@historicmilton.com or 302.684.1101.

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