Pittston, Luzerne County, PA -
City officials on Monday announced a $40 million downtown revitalization project that includes the construction of an approximately 500-seat theater on South Main Street and the acquisition of a former supermarket on Kennedy Boulevard.
In addition to the theater in a new six- to eight-story tower at the site of a current dentist office, the development will include apartments, commercial space and offices in that building and two other nearby properties, the current ambulance association building and the former Quinn’s Supermarket. A parkade and outdoor public gathering area will also be built.
Mayor Mike Lombardo touted the “Market & Main/The New American Theater” project as a “transformative and game-changing” addition to Pittston’s art scene. The venue will be the first theater in Pittston since the original American Theater, which opened during the Roaring 20s was demolished in 1993.
“Market & Main/The New American Theater marks a new chapter in our city’s history,” Lombardo said. “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re determined to restore the performing arts to the heart of Pittston.”
The original American Theater was the epicenter of Pittston’s cultural life, hosting vaudeville shows, big band music concerts, movies and more.
In a news release, the city said the project demonstrates the city’s “commitment to revitalizing the legacy of the original American Theater” and “places a strong emphasis on community engagement and revitalizing public spaces.”
City officials have already been in touch with leaders of the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre and the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Twp. in hope of being a partner in the entertainment scene.
“We want this to be a complementary product not a competing product,” Lombardo said. “I think you are going to see some really good symbiotic relationships.”