Preserving the Past

In 1965 the Blair County Arts Foundation, together with Altoona Community Theatre, raised $47,500 to purchase the Historic Mishler Theatre from the Notopolous family, in order to prevent the playhouse from torn down and replaced with a parking lot.

In August of 1966 the BCAF, now the theatre’s sole proprietor, began operating from the Mishler Box Office and formulating plans for the first capital campaign to restore the 910-seat facility.

Through the efforts of the BCAF’s Mishler Committee, the Theatre was jointly recognized by the United States Department of the Interior and the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission for its historic, economic, and architectural significance and was entered on the National Register of Historic Places in May 1973. It was the only building in the city to be so honored.

Grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Department of Community and Economic Development; Housing and Urban Development funding administered by the City of Altoona; Allegheny Ridge Corporation; Ward Foundation; Wolf-Kuhn Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities, as well as funding from the professional community and private sector, have contributed the nearly three million dollars expended to date in refurbishing the gracious playhouse, but there is much work remaining.

Future Renovations

Celebrating 100 Years

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