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Friends of Hollywood Theater Receives Nonprofit Status

Now that it’s official, the Hollywood’s supporters plan to seek new funding sources and offer more to customers.

It’s official, and it was a long time coming—or at least, it seemed like a long time for the Friends of the , who applied for official nonprofit status from the IRS in March.

The Friends of the Hollywood Theater received official nonprofit designation earlier this month.

“Now that the waiting’s over we can engage full warp drive and go after some grants,” said Fred Terling, president of the Friends group. “We’re excited that we can launch into the next year.”

A group at Carnegie Mellon University drew up a sustainability report earlier this year, he said, that the Friends could use as a guideline for how to keep the theater running successfully. All they needed to make the plan happen was official nonprofit designation.

The wait was frustrating, Terling said. Without official nonprofit status, the group couldn’t solicit donations or apply for grant funding. To keep the theater running until nonprofit status was awarded, it would have to generate it’s own revenue.

Fortunately, he said, the Hollywood was able to support itself with movie showings, rentals and special events. The Friends were fully focused on keeping the theater alive, because they all knew what a unique asset to the community it is, he said.

Margaret Jackson, who serves as secretary of the Friends of the Hollywood Theater, grew up in the South Hills, and said she frequented the Hollywood, as well as the South Hills Theater and the Dennis Theater.

“Watching the South Hills fall under the wrecking ball and be turned into yet another CVS was gut wrenching,” she said in an email on Thursday. “I don’t want to see that happen again to another local theater.”

Jackson is thrilled that the public already has embraced the theater, she said, and she hopes the nonprofit status will secure the Hollywood’s future in Dormont. 

“We know times are tough, but we hope the nonprofit status will encourage people to support the Friends of the Hollywood Theater in our endeavor to purchase the building and keep the balcony open forever,” she said.

The Friends now strive to gain grant funding and to integrate the theater into the community more, Terling said. He said applying for grant funding will be the Friends first goal. The group also has plans to work with other local businesses to provide food and supplies for events.

“We approached this with the idea that we’re here to stay,” Terling said. “We’re in this for the long haul.”

AiXeLsyD13 December 16, 2011 at 02:53 PM
Very cool! It's great to have something like the Hollywood in our community. I'd like to see a lot more movies there! http://wp.me/pwqzc-14M
teresa caprio December 17, 2011 at 06:59 PM
Hoping Hollywood group will link up with Film Festivals around the world. Hoping that marketing and communications extend beyond Dormont and MaggioLand of Makeuplies! We know he is behind this non-profit and that is quite the turn-off as far as public relations go.
Erin Faulk December 17, 2011 at 10:49 PM
It definitely would be great if the Hollywood could get some international attention! It's my understanding that a lot of people wanted to see this happen. That the Hollywood has gained nonprofit status is a great thing, for both the theater and for Dormont. AiXeLsyD13, there are a lot of movies I want to see there, too - E.T. is one of them! How about everyone else? What do you all want to see at the Hollywood?
teresa caprio December 18, 2011 at 06:31 PM
Holiday movies; classics in black and white..like treasure of Sierra Madre, african queen..something for all age groups..a boon for Dormont, indeed!
Erin Faulk December 18, 2011 at 07:39 PM
I just saw that The Wizard of Oz is on television - that's another one I'd love to see at the Hollywood!
Daniele Ventresca December 18, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Teresa, Since you are so critical of others, I wonder if you can tell me what exactly you have done to assist in the re-opening of the Hollywood Theater?
Lou Pietosi December 19, 2011 at 07:39 AM
Fantastic News! Congratulations! And I for one want to express my appecuation to the entire Board of Directors and in particular, Fred Terling and John Maggio! Yes John Maggio. I have seen personally the amount of hard work and dedication John has put in to the Hollywood. Many people don't realize he could be making FAR more money in his chosen profession but instead has opted to help save ANOTHER Dormont institution! Why people refuse to acknowledge this is beyond me and obviously politically and personally motivated. John actually cares about Dormont and has repeatedly put his money where his mouth is! I'm excited about putting on more concerts in 2012 and will do everything in my power to help make the Hollywood Theater the "go to" place for live music! John, Fred and his wife Lori, and the rest of the Board are dedicated to bringing films, set shows and much more to the Hollywood! I'm asking all Dormont residents to put personal feelings aside and help make the Hollywood a permanent success!
AiXeLsyD13 December 19, 2011 at 01:23 PM
What does "MaggioLand of Makeuplies" mean? The reference is lost on me.
AiXeLsyD13 December 19, 2011 at 01:24 PM
Oh yeah, E.T. and the Wizard of Oz would be great. Ha ha. The Oz one would have to be an event. Maybe a midnight showing with the Pink Floyd thing for the stoner crowd. Ha ha.
Lou Pietosi December 20, 2011 at 10:06 PM
For anyone who is interested.....I ran in to John Maggio the other day and he invites any resident to call to discuss any issues you have concerns with rather than commenting here without knowing the facts. Sounds fair enough to me!
Scott Jackson December 23, 2011 at 09:30 PM
You may want to look into the Friends of the Hollywood board, who are all South Hills residents who have hired John to be Executive Director. John was one of the main residents behind trying to save this theater, but there are many others involved with the board and with the day to day running of the theater. Hopefully many more Dormont residents will get involved with this endeavor, which is starting to gain more publicity in local media. We are a non-profit organization and all of us are in it solely to save this Dormont jewel and eventually buy the building to keep it a community theater. None of us are in it for profit or to gain any political capital. Sorry there are those in the borough who have to put politics into every aspect of their life, but we are here to make a positive impact for Dormont. We invite any like minded people to get on Friends of the Hollywood Theater's website and help in any way they can, or just attend movies at the theater.
Lou Pietosi December 23, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Scott! I in NO WAY meant to not include you, Margaret and the ENTIRE board of directors for the fantastic work you've all done! I truly appreciate your efforts. I mentioned John specifically ONLY because he seems to get the most unfair press, even when it comes to the theater. That's why I'm hoping people put politics aside and support the efforts of all of you and those of us who care about making the Hollywood Theater the best venue around!
Scott Jackson December 24, 2011 at 11:43 AM
Lou- my response wasn't about your post. We all appreciate your support and the work you've done to help the theater. My response was solely directed at the person posting about Maggioland and feeling the need to bring John's work on council into all the hard work he's done to reopen the theater. Two separate issues, and it's a shame that politics in Dormont is on such a personal level that a few disagreements on policy negates the rest of the work that someone does for the community in some people's minds.
Lou Pietosi December 27, 2011 at 07:58 AM
AMEN Scott!

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