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Dream of turning Penmar building into community theatre crushed

An artist's rendition of what a renovated Penmar Theatre would have looked like. The building has been purchased by Encore Vineyards and won't be converted into a community theatre.
Image Credit: Penmar Community Arts Society
April 25, 2016 - 12:59 PM

PENTICTON - A major blow to those in Penticton with aspirations of developing a community theatre in the downtown core came today with the announcement the Penmar Theatre has been sold.

The Penmar Community Arts Society made the announcement in a post on Facebook today, April 25, saying the 361 Martin St. property has been purchased by Encore Vineyards.

Encore Vineyards plans to turn the building into an urban winery, according to a company media release, which it calls the first of its kind in the Okanagan.

Encore says conditions have now been removed on the sale of the property, allowing the company to begin modifications that will see the building producing wine for the 2016 vintage.

The former movie theatre will house a winery production facility including a crush pad, barrel cellar, custom fermentation hall, lab, warehouse and administrative offices, the release says. There will also be a tasting bar, small plates lounge, a retail wineshop and a 40-seat outdoor patio on the site.

The company plans to keep one of the 75-seat movie theatres for local performing arts events, concerts and private functions.

The Penmar Society board had been trying, through various means over the past couple of years, to raise the money necessary to restore the building for a community theatre.

A Kickstarter campaign failed to raise $190,000 needed for the restoration effort last December and a more recent campaign attempting to raise $99,958 had reached $65,042 prior to today’s announcement.

The arts society says it will continue to work to bring community theatre to the city, but doesn't say what those plans look like.

Calls to the Penmar Community Arts Society and Encore Vineyards were not immediately returned.

Find past stories on the Penmar Theatre here.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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