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Bedford Playhouse Funding Effort Gets Six-Figure Boost

Entrance to the Bedford Playhouse's movie-theater space.
Entrance to the Bedford Playhouse's movie-theater space. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- The Friends of Bedford Playhouse, a group that is raising money in order to convert the building's theater space into a non-profit arts venue, announced that it has received a $200,000 pledge from the Thompson Family Foundation.

The foundation, according to the group, said it would pledge $300,000 in additional money to match future donations of the same amount. If the matching initiative is successful, it would mean an additional $600,000 in combined pledges.

The friends group has a March 1 deadline to raise $2.5 million in pledges to pay for the conversion of the theater space, which was shuttered early in January due to the departure of operator Bow Tie Cinemas.

On its website, the friends group refers to the foundation's matching initiative as "The $300,000 Thompson Challenge" and urges people to pledge.

“This is tremendous!” John Farr, the friend's group's co-chairman and co-founder, said in a statement. “This leadership donation comes at just the right moment. We will do all we can to leverage this exceptional gift to achieve our ultimate goal- to transform this historic theater into a vital cultural and community hub.”

A statement was also issued from Amanda Riegel, who is a spokeswoman for the foundation.

“We are so happy to be a part of this exciting project and we trust this gift will accelerate the fundraising efforts and help the Friends exceed their goals.”

The friends group states is has received more than $500,000 in pledges that came from 176 local residents. As of Tuesday, the group's website shows $518,966 in pledged funds.

An information session regarding the group's proposal is scheduled to be held on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Katonah Village Library's Garden Room, which is at 26 Bedford Road in downtown Katonah.

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