Donor gives $175K to Lincoln Theatre Restoration Project

A recent sizable donation will continue the Lincoln Theatre Renovation Project with an intent to reignite the downtown Port Angeles effort, organizers say.

Representatives with Ghostlight Productions, a local theater production company that has held many shows in Sequim, announced a $175,000 donation from an anonymous donor as part of Giving Tuesday, a global giving event set annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

The Renovation Project is a partnership between Ghostlight and the Marchant Family to bring the historic Port Angeles downtown theater back to life at 103 E. First St. in downtown Port Angeles.

“This donation couldn’t come at a more perfect time,” wrote Ron Graham, incoming president of Ghostlight Productions, via email.

“As we continue to emerge from COVID-19, our priority has been to get this project back on track.”

The donation helps finalize building plans for the multi-use performing arts and film center. Some of the amenities include seating for 380-400 patrons on two levels, a 50-foot-by-36-foot proscenium stage for Ghostlight’s live productions, a massive single cinema screen, a redesigned lobby with ADA accessible amenities, orchestra pit, fly-loft and a new façade that pays homage to the original 1916 design, Graham said.

The plans need to be finalized by an architect to meet what is needed for city approval to move forward with construction, he told the Peninsula Daily News.

“This donation will get that portion of the ball rolling again,” Graham said, with more funding needed to upgrade and remodel the interior.

“The theater is a raw canvas, ready for the next stage,” he said.

In 2019, organizers estimated that $2 million would be needed to renovate the building.

“The first set of drawings were preliminary at best and had a different concept of the theatre than what is now intended,” Graham said.

Organizers intend to make it “a true community project by hiring as many local companies and individuals as possible to make this dream a reality,” he said.

The Lincoln Theater opened in 1916 and was closed in 2014.

Ghostlight’s artistic director Mark Lorentzen announced the group’s partnership with the theater’s new owners, Marty and Deborah Marchant, during a sell-out run of “Mamma Mia!” in the summer of 2019.

However, the pandemic put restoration efforts on hold, Graham said.

“For nearly 100 years, the heart of Port Angeles was the Lincoln Theatre,” Graham said. “Our goal is to get the theatre’s heart beating again.”

Part of the effort includes helping to revitalize downtown Port Angeles, he added, and “to create a new identity for Port Angeles as the premier spot on the Peninsula.”

Ghostlight Productions is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit acting as fiscal sponsor for the Lincoln Theatre Renovation. For general information or to make a donation, go to ghostlightwa.org.

For more information, contact info@ghostlightwa.org.

Submitted photo
The Lincoln Theater, pictured in 1916.

Submitted photo The Lincoln Theater, pictured in 1916.