WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A nearly century-old theater is getting a much-needed makeover. With help from a grant, the theater will get upgrades to improve the quality of performances.

The Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport received a $150,000 grant that will go toward modernizing its equipment and enhancing this historic theater.

Formerly known as the Capitol Theater, the Community Arts Center opened in 1928 as a movie palace. It’s become a staple in the Williamsport community for entertainment and live performances.

“We do a tremendous amount of local theater work, local music work, and we also bring in national tours you know acts like ZZ Top and Cirque Musica and things like that come through here all the time as well,” said Jim Dougherty, Executive Director of the Community Arts Center.

In 1993 it was restored and reopened under its current name and in 2021 it was purchased by the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Recently the theater received a $150,000 Keystone Communities Program Grant for equipment upgrades.

“That equipment will include a new projection system and some additional lighting in the co-varies of the theater which are the highest and hardest areas to reach. So, it’ll be nice to be able to remotely control a lot of that lighting and projection,” explained Dougherty.

The building will keep its 1920’s charm. Dougherty says these upgrades will enhance all the shows that hit the stage.

“You know it’s an aging building and much of the technology is also aging so I’m very happy to be able to upgrade some of that and add some new life to some of these spaces,” stated Dougherty.

Some of these projects are already in progress, while everything is expected to be complete by January.