SOUDERTON — This week's first snow of the year caused a bit of a roadblock to the masonry work being done at the Broad Theater, but a propane heater was brought in and the work is continuing, theater owners Kyle Hoff and Charlie Crown told Souderton Borough Council at its Dec. 2 meeting.
"Thankfully, the concrete plants are still open and will be open for the next several months," Hoff said.
It will take two to three weeks to put concrete floors and steps into the theater, he said.
"If anybody's looked inside, we have the risers for the stadium seating in theaters one and two on the first floor," Crown said. "The elevator shaft is completed."
In addition to the two first-floor theaters, there will also be one on the second floor.
Windows on both the Washington Avenue and W. Broad Street sides of the theater have been enlarged.
Brick walls are being reinforced, Crown said.
"It'll last another hundred years," Hoff said of the century-old theater that has been closed for more than a decade.
"We're still hoping for a spring opening, maybe late spring," Hoff said.
"Once the concrete floors are poured, that opens up all the interior finish work and a movie theater doesn't need a lot of finish work," he said. "It's a giant room and everything gets painted black."
The theater will be showing a mix of first run and classic movies, Crown and Hoff said. The film broker they are working with to book movies shown there is the same one as when the theater was previously in operation, they said.
Mayor John Reynolds said he had asked for the update because the theater is the number one topic borough officials are asked about.
"It's definitely exciting to see the work being done," council President Brian Goshow told Hoff and Crown.
In answer to council member Richard Godshall's question of how many employees the theater would have, Hoff said it's expected to be 20 to 25, depending on the number of hours per week employees want to work.
"Anybody looking for work, let us know," he said.
In answer to council member Ned Leight's question about the large windows, Hoff said there is structural steel above the windows.
"The building doesn't actually rest on the window," he said.
Broad Theater apparel and gift cards, along with information, are available at broadtheater.com.
In another matter at the meeting, council member Jeff Gross said additional trees were recently planted on borough property. The plantings are part of an ongoing process with Philadelphia Horticultural Society's TreeVitalize program. The best time to plant is in the fall, Gross said.
More than 200 trees have been planted in Souderton through the program over about the past half dozen years, he said.
"It's made a big difference, especially with all of the old, mature trees that we have lost in the borough," Gross said.
Disease, age and storms destroyed the trees that were lost, he said.
This year, Souderton got 12 trees through the program, Gross said following the meeting. In past years, the borough sometimes got 25 to 30 trees, he said.
This year, the borough paid $50 per tree, which is much less than the market cost for similar trees, he said.
Local resident Jill Dietterich, a horticulturalist and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society member, helps with the Souderton tree programs, he said.