2013-12-12 / Local & State

Pa. Judge Denies Bid To Protect Theater

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) – A judge on Wednesday denied a group’s request to prevent a developer from tear- ing down a fire-damaged 19th century theater.

The Centre Daily Times reported that Commonwealth Court Judge Rochelle Friedman indicated after a phone conference with lawyers that she will issue an order denying a request for an injunction that would prevent demolition of Bellefonte’s Garman Theatre and the neighboring Hotel Do De.

The ruling against the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association upheld a previous decision by a county judge that the association did not have a right to intervene.

Developer Ara Kervandjian plans to turn the buildings and a third structure into 32 apartments, and the paper said the theater could be demolished in the coming months.

The theater, located beside the courthouse at the center of town, was built in 1890 and over the years hosted acts such as Harry Houdini, George Burns and Gracie Allen.

It was in foreclosure and vacant and had been closed for four years when it was damaged by the fire that destroyed the hotel last year.

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