Princeton University has selected a Doylestown, Pa. company to run the Garden Theatre on Nassau Street.
Renew Theaters, a nonprofit organization with 21 years of experience running community movie theaters, has been selected to operate the theater. The lease agreement between Renew and Princeton University will take effect June 1.
The Garden Theatre, which opened in 1920 with a showing of the silent film “Civilian Clothes,” is a two-screen theater frequented by the University and greater Princeton community. The facility is currently leased by Garden Theatre Inc.
Renew Theaters runs three Pennsylvania theaters, including the Ambler Theater in Ambler, the County Theater in Doylestown and the Hiway Theater in Jenkintown. The theaters focus on showing art, independent and world films, on educating patrons about film through diverse community and family programs, and on engaging with businesses and community organizations to host special screenings, classes and events.
According to a university news announcement about the change. the school has three goals for the Garden Theatre: to provide a great place to screen movies and related events for various communities, to provide programming sourced by students in off-hours, and to offer the opportunity for screenings for academic programs, primarily during the daytime on weekdays.
The school purchased the Garden Theatre in 1993 and the building underwent a $1 million renovation in 2000. Last summer, the school modernized the facility, installing a digital cinema system with new projection, surround sound and movie screens.
The theater is expected to be closed for a month for renovations to the lobby, theaters and concession stand, and other maintenance work throughout the building.