Construction is underway on renovations to Hamburg's historic Palace Theatre, after the Hamburg Industrial Development Agency backed an interest-free $215,000 line of credit to finance the effort.
The renovations by owner Jay Ruof will include a new roof and HVAC upgrades for the 95-year-old movie house, as well as the relocation of the bathrooms and snack bar. The project is expected to be completed by July.
“We anticipate larger turnouts as people have pent-up demand for our experience," Ruof said in a statement. "These upgrades will ensure our customers have a safe and pleasurable experience.”
Ruof has been working to renovate the historic theater for several years, but has struggled to come up with enough funding. He was approved in 2019 for a $225,000 state matching grant through the New York Main Street program, but first needed to come up with $75,000 on his own.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, draining his business and causing a cash crunch. So the IDA stepped in with the credit line from the agency's Land Development Corp., which will be paid back through the state grant funds as the renovations move forward.
“We are thrilled to have an opportunity to support one of our town’s greatest assets," said Hamburg IDA Executive Director Sean Doyle. “This is another great example of the positive impact of the Hamburg IDA in our community.”