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Hanover Borough News

Posted on: May 9, 2022

Hanover Theater Acquisition


 As they say in the business, “The show must go on…”and recently, the Hanover Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) took a step closer to making that a reality in Hanover. For far too long, the State Theater, located on historic Frederick Street in Hanover, has sat empty and cold. Originally opened in 1928, the theater had a rich history in the performing and film arts. However, changes in the industry and ownership, as well as an uncertain future, left the theater sitting idle. It was only logical that when the HEDC was formed in early 2021, one of their first projects was to try and find a way to secure a future for the theater. Working closely with the York County Economic Alliance and through the generosity of the J. William Warehime Foundation, HEDC approached the owner and was able to negotiate a purchase agreement to buy the theater. “The State Theater is an iconic fixture in the Hanover community, and the time has come to help it again become a cultural and social asset,” said Oliver Hoar, HEDC Chairman. 

When Preservation Pennsylvania listed the theatre on the 2011 “Pennsylvania At Risk” list, it did so with the belief that patience and creativity would lead to the right owner and use for this historic resource, a contributing property in the Hanover National Register Historic District. Many of Hanover’s residents, past and present, have attended movies and performances in this building, creating memories that connect them to this special place. “We are so pleased to learn that the HEDC is acquiring this historic building and will be working to secure its future. Finding the right use and owner takes time but when an At Risk place is finally marked “saved,” it is a day for celebration!” said Margaret Wallis, Board Chair of Preservation Pennsylvania. 

Work will now begin on identifying an investor/developer who can provide a solid vision and strategy to make the best use of the property. The opportunities for the site to be a visitor destination for entertainment and event gatherings are tremendous. The timing is also perfect as the Borough is continuing its momentum to begin the next phase of the 2019 Streetscape Feasibility Study which looks to make street level improvements to Hanover’s downtown core, benefitting both local and far-reaching businesses. Certainly, the stage is set for a new show in town. And, as they say in the business, “Lights. Camera. Action!” 

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