Youngstown, OH

Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation raises funds to revitalize Foster Theater

Paul Krasinic
Ben Hershey/Unsplash

YOUNGSTOWN, OH — The historic Foster Theater, located at 2504 Glenwood Avenue, has been acquired by the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation and is soon to be restored to its full glory.

YNDC is raising the funds needed for the restoration of the theater, and as of August 3, $4,635 has been raised. The fundraising is still ongoing as the goal is to reach $20,000. YNDC has been campaigning on social media to gain more attention and boost fundraising.

The Foster Theater was built in 1938 by Joseph Shagrin with the help of project architect Morris Scheibel, who had designed many prominent buildings in Youngstown. The theater was originally used as a movie theater. After the postwar era starts, the Foster theater, as well as theaters in general, came face to face with the challenge of competing with the prevalence of television.

Shagrin adapted to this by turning the Foster Theater into Youngstown’s home for art films. In 1965, Chagrin retired and sold the Foster Theater to Louis Sher. Although Sher initially managed many Art House Theaters, eventually he chose to begin showing films for adults in the Foster as mainstream cinema became more popular.

The Foster Theater continued to operate even in the times when many downtown movie places withered. In 1994, the theater was bought b Dee Barber and it continued to operate until recently.

As soon as they’ve reached the appropriate funding from donations, YNDC will develop a plan to significantly improve the building so that it can be used again. The Foster Theater’s revitalizing project is part of the ongoing work to reinvigorate the greater Glenwood Avenue corridor.

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