PHILADELPHIA, PA - On February 1, 2018 at 1 pm, The Board of the Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation will began their first steps in phase two deployment plans of renovating the historic Uptown Theater which is scheduled to opens its doors mid 2019.
Uptown Theater is elated to announce that they are the recipient of a grant from The State of Pennsylvania which was released by Governor Wolf whose initiative is to fund organizations through his Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program. Uptown Theater is set to receive funds in the amount of $500,000.00 which was presented to Mrs. Linda Richardson, President of The Uptown Theater by Senator Sharif Street. The unveiling of the funds took place at The Tech Freire School located at 2221-25 N Broad Street.
“The Uptown Theatre has historically been a hub for cultural and economic activity in North Philadelphia and throughout the Philadelphia region. I am pleased to be able to marshal resources to assist in the reimagining of this iconic space on North Broad.” Sen. Sharif Street, 3rd District
"This is a real kick start to our second phase renovation for the Uptown Theater," stated Linda Richardson, President of the Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation.
The Uptown Entertainment & Development Corp. (UEDC) is a community development corporation, incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1995, received its 501c3 tax-exempt status in 2002, and registered with Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations since 2004. UEDC has identified the historic Uptown Theater, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as its first acquisition and revitalization project. Development plans include renovating the theater as an entertainment venue, creating a museum dedicated to preserving Black music, developing a technology center, and providing commercial leasing space in the proposed Entertainment and Education Tower. Other UEDC projects / programs include:
* A newly-acquired LPFM Radio Station ..:: Uptown Radio | WJYN 98.5 FM ::..
* A Job Bank for construction workers
* Uptown Youth Got Talent (UYGT) for job readiness, audio/video production and performing arts
"Uptown Youth Got Talent"
* Commercial Corridor Cleaning & Beautification
* African American Preservation Heritage Trail / Historic Trail Project
UEDC also serves as a Registered Community Organization (RCO) for North Central Philadelphia (aka The Uptown Cultural District, Avenue of the Arts North, Harlem Quarter North) in conjunction with the City Planning Commission's Citizen Planning Institute.
Provides youth (13 - 18 years old) with summer enrichment activities, sponsors trips during the year to cultural events, provides work-study for high school and college youth, and operates an on-the-job training for youth eligible to work.
Provides technical assistance in environmental and neighborhood issues to individuals and community development corporations, and offers workshops, seminars and forums on neighborhood issues.
Provides limited referrals for affordable housing and tenant issues. Future plans include developing an affordable housing program.
Linda Richardson is the president of the Uptown Entertainment & Development Corp., which oversees the renovation of the famous Uptown Theater. She's spent two decades fighting for its preservation - but to understand her love of the spot, you have to understand its history.
Back in the late 1920s, a beautiful Art Deco movie palace opened up in North Philadelphia to serve its largely immigrant population. The Uptown Theater was known for its luxurious interior where it showed the popular "talkies" of the time - until the Great Depression hit, that is. As the demographics of the surrounding community shifted, Uptown became known for its live performances instead and was a popular stop on the "chitlin circuit." In the decades that followed, everyone from The Supremes to a pre-Hall & Oates Daryl Hall took the Uptown Theater stage, which also became a magnet for civil rights activists in the area.
The mission of the Uptown Entertainment & Development Corporation is to revitalize communities that are underserved by providing jobs, education and housing services. Our first project is the renovation of the Historic Uptown Theater.
All year around donations are need here at The Uptown Theater. We provide many programs that need the love and support from our Philadelphia community.
2017 The Uptown Theater welcomes our very first radio station WJYN 98.5fm!! This station will employee local talent on air personalities who will provide news, music and talk geared to North Philadelphia and beyond.