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Jaffrey Theatre to Begin Construction
Published Friday, August 4, 2017

Rendering of the Park Theatre in Jaffrey. Photo: The Park Theatre

The Jaffrey Planning Board approved a construction project for the Park Theatre, which will renovate the theatre into a two-auditorium performance center in downtown Jaffrey. Construction is expected to begin in September and finish in 2018.

The Park Theatre opened in Jaffrey in 1922 and was the center of community life as a movie and vaudeville house for 54 years until it closed in 1976. The property was purchased by the Park Theatre, Inc. in 2006 and rebuilt as a film and performing arts center with two auditoriums seating 485, hosting movies, live theatre, children’s productions, concerts, lectures and business and community gatherings. The Park Theatre also operates the River Street Theatre (RST), a small live entertainment and cinema venue adjacent to the construction site of the new Park Theatre. RST will serve as the organization's interim theatre until the new Park Theatre opens.

The project to rebuild and reopen The Park Theatre began in 2005 with a “Sprint to the Finish” campaign to purchase the original property on Main St. Since then, the project has raised $4.9 million to design, develop and partially fund the new building. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is the lead funder for the rebuilding of the theatre through its Community Facilities Program. The program, administered by the USDA Office of Rural Development, provides financial support to community facilities, particularly those that increase economic opportunity and quality of life in rural areas.

Substantial funding has also come from the NH Community Development Finance Authority through tax credits donated to the Theatre by 36 businesses in Jaffrey and throughout the state. More than 32 foundations, 75 businesses and over 2,800 individuals have contributed to the work to rebuild and reopen the Park Theatre. 

“This is the moment every supporter of The Park has been waiting for,” says Steve Jackson, CEO of the Park Theatre. “It is a monumental achievement for the organization…and a testament to the passion and perseverance of our fans throughout the Monadnock Region and beyond.”

The new Park Theatre was designed by BKA Architects in Massachusetts according to LEED’s gold level, with engineering provided by TF Moran in Bedford. Hutter Construction Company in New Ipswich is the managing contractor for the project, and Steve Horton of KSC Education Consulting in Vermont is the project’s construction advisor. 

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