SOUDERTON >> When the screen went to white in 2006, it wasn’t the last picture show for the century-old Broad Theater.
It was just the start of a long intermission that could end in about a year.
“I’d like to be open before the summer blockbuster season,” said Kyle Hoff, who in partnership with Charles Crown, made the winning $151,000 bid to purchase the building, which was approved by Souderton Borough Council at its May 7 meeting.
Hoff said he and Crown are finishing up securing permanent financing and construction plans are almost completed. Renovating the building will take six to nine months, he said, followed by another couple months to get it up and running, so he’s shooting for a May 2019 opening.
The theater, which will have two screens, will play first-run movies, but that won’t be all, he said.
“I personally really enjoy old movies, so I would really like to show a lot of classics and maybe some art house and independent stuff,” Hoff said.
It will be similar to the Ambler Theater or the County Theater in Doylestown, he said.
“Having two screens, we’re going to be able to alternate when we have firs- run movies so there’ll always be something new and exciting to come see,” Hoff said.
Perkasie-based Free Will Brewing will have a taproom in the lobby, he said. The theater will also have connection to the adjacent neighboring building that was purchased by the owners of Broad Street Pizza, he said. The plans for that building include Broad Street Pizza relocating into it, with additional businesses moving into other parts of the building.
“Park one time, get a meal, see a movie,” Hoff said while giving a brief outline of the plans during the meeting.
There will be stadium-style seating for about 125 people in each of the two theaters, he said.
The theater is far enough away from competitors and there are enough people living in the area to support more than two screens, but there is only room for two screens in the building, he said.
Following the meeting, he said the theater’s snack offerings will include bagged popcorn from the Great American Popcorn Works in Telford and candy from local candy companies.
Souderton Borough, which became the owners last year after the previous owner defaulted on an economic development loan and there were no bidders at a sheriff sale, put the theater on the market last month.
“We received only one bid, but it is a very responsive bid,” Borough Manager Mike Coll said at the May 7 Souderton Borough Council meeting.
He described Hoff and Crown as “highly respected investors in the borough.” Hoff has previously restored several old industrial buildings, including the ones in which Great American Popcorn Works, Broad Street Grind in Souderton and the district court in Franconia are located. Crown owns Towne Answering Service on Main Street in Souderton.
Council member Jeff Gross, who made the motion to accept Hoff and Crown’s bid, said he was “very happy” to make that motion.
“I’ll second with great joy,” council member Ned Leight, who seconded the motion, said.
Applause followed council’s approval of the sale.