Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the mission of the Civic Theatre of Allentown?

    Civic Theatre of Allentown entertains, educates, and enriches lives and provides a venue for artists and audiences to explore their humanity and relevance in the world.

  • What is Civic Theatre of Allentown’s history?

    Civic Theatre of Allentown is a 501c3 non-profit organization with nearly 90 years of history in the Lehigh Valley. Founded by two Morning Call reporters in 1927 as “Civic Little Theatre,” the current day Civic Theatre of Allentown relies on the creativity, passion and inspiration of the staff members, the board and the thousands of volunteers that are mutually invested in Civic’s growth and success.

    • 1953: Establishment of children’s theatre school
    • 1957: Moved into its current home at the Nineteenth Street Theatre, a 1928 Art Deco movie
    • palace in Allentown’s West End. The theatre is one of 10 designed by master architects
    • Thalheimer & Weitz of Philadelphia. Civic is one of two remaining historic theatres in Allentown.
    • 1958: Opening as Civic Little Theatre
    • 1989: Addition of art film screenings
    • 1997: The first community theatre to produce Tony Kushner’s award-winning epic Angels in America
    • 2001: Purchase of Theatre514 providing a second film screen venue, a reception area, a shop and offices.
    • 2013: Long-term Strategic plan focused on sustainable growth and solvency approved.
    • 2016: Renovation of Theatre 514 second floor for Administrative office space.
    • Other capital improvements over the years include handicap accessible restrooms and updated HVAC system. See Civic Historical Snapshot for others.
  • How is the Civic Theatre connected to the community?

    Civic Theatre is the premiere destination for live theatre in the Lehigh Valley, an honored educational institution, and a lead venue of independent cinematic arts. The theatre serves as a cultural magnet for the West End neighborhood, providing a creative haven where performers develop their talents and children embrace the magic of theatre. And Civic helps generate foot traffic to West End businesses helping to bolster economic development in the area.

  • What are Civic Theatre Yearly Statistics?

    • 45,000 tickets sold annually.
    • 5,260 children in grades K-5 from 12 public schools participate in Civic’s Art and Literacy outreach programs.
    • 25,000+ subsidized tickets for children attending A Christmas Carol in the past 10 years.
    • 300+ students enrolled in theatre school annually.
    • 100’s of volunteers each year sharing talents on stage and behind the scenes.
  • What is the Vision of Civic Theatre’s Capital Campaign?

    The vision of Civic Theatre’s Capital Campaign is returning the historic 19th Street Theatre to its original splendor as a landmark arts facility and focal point of Art Deco architecture. This restoration is vital to Civic’s future as a cultural magnet for the West End neighborhood and will complement the rapid redevelopment occurring in Allentown’s business district and The Waterfront.

  • What is the total cost of Civic’s Capital Campaign?

    The total cost of Civic’s Capital Campaign is $5.5 MIL with funding from:

    $2 MIL in RACP Grant $3.5 MIL to raise in private fundin

  • What are the three phases of Civic’s Capital Campaign?

    Phase 1: $1.5 MIL - Begin Spring 2017; complete 11/1/17
    Phase 2: $3.4 MIL - Begin 1/1/18; complete 9/14/18
    Phase 3: $.6 MIL - Begin 1/1/19; complete 11/1/19

    Capital Campaign Total: $5.5 MIL

  • What impact does Civic Theatre have on future generations?

    Civic is devoted to developing the artists and audiences of the future, and in changing the national emphasis on “STEM” to “STEAM” by adding arts to the traditional Science and Technology curriculum. Established more than 50 years ago, Civic Theatre School programs provide training in the theatre arts to some 300 children each year developing important skills in teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, dedication, and accountability. Above all, they gain confidence and learn to accept constructive feedback.

  • What is the driving commitment of Civic Theatre of Allentown?

    As a professionally staffed, year-round, non-profit theatre with roots in its community and excellence as its primary objective, Civic has proudly served the area for almost 90 years. We look forward to another 90 years of presenting locally produced first class theatre, showing the finest independent films, and bringing the best performing arts instruction possible to the young people of the Lehigh Valley.

  • How can I or others support the Civic Theatre of Allentown Capital Campaign

    Contact Managing Director, Shirley Kline at or by calling 610.433.8903, ext 213; or Civic’s capital campaign consultant, Sharon Jones Zondag at