New Castle News

Closer Look

February 7, 2014

Theater group reaches fundraising campaign goal

NEW CASTLE — A group seeking to recreate a historic theater in downtown New Castle has reached a key fundraising goal.

With $23,126 pledged from supporters, Historic Warner Cascade Theatre has met its Kickstarter goal for funds.

“It was a nail-biter right up to the end,” said Jerry Kern, organization president. The non-profit group, which changed its name from the Warner Film Center, narrowly reached its goal in the final hours Jan. 31.

“For several weeks we were stalled at about the $2,999 level,” Kern said. “Then in the final week, our supporters rallied to our email and Facebook solicitations, and more than four dozen supporters from around the country pledged amounts ranging from $5 to $500 each. The group reached its goal with less than 10 hours to go.

Kickstarter is an internet-based fundraising program that specializes in small, generally non-profit, corporations.

As previously reported, the Lawrence County commissioners promised a “dollar-for-dollar” match, bringing the campaign total to slightly over $46,000.

Former New Castle resident and Warner project development trustee, Jack Oberleitner, said the funds will get the organization closer to its main goal of re-creating the former Warner Cascade Theatre, in the Cascade Riverplex Building, 18 S. Mill St.

Oberleitner said the organization now will be in contact with Eckles Architects to finalize construction plans. However, he noted the group is still seeking public support and those interested can contact the organization through its website,

Among the ways the organization continues to raise funds is through a raffle, with the prize of a week-long stay at a Myrtle Beach, S.C., resort.

Tickets for the raffle are available through Warner Cascade Theatre representatives — including Breakaway Tours, Klafter’s, Lorelei’s Dance Wear, The Michele Goodman Studio and Print Center One — or by calling (724) 614-6541.

The winning ticket will be based on the March 17 Pennsylvania Lottery evening daily number.

Meanwhile, the theater group is planning another dinner-movie-dance gala titled “Viva Italia” to be presented in association with the New Castle Scottish Rite Cathedral in the spring.

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