WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP — A day-long fundraising event took place Friday for the new KISS Theatre in Luzerne County.
The non-profit theatre organization for kids was forced out of the Wyoming Valley Mall earlier this year, and is now renovating space in the East End Centre.
It’s big, it’s dirty, and it’s loud. But, workers here at the East End Centre in Wilkes-Barre Township are getting the show on the road, cleaning up this space for the KISS Theatre.
“Sixteen feet high, unobstructed, perfect for a theatre with lots of office space, rehearsal space, etc. attached to it. The only problem is there’s nothing in it,” said KISS Theatre artistic director David Parmelee.
KISS Theatre stands for “Kids Innovating Stage and Sound.” The group is renting the empty space here at the East End Centre in Wilkes-Barre Township. Shopping center owner Joe Amato offered the location when the group was evicted from the Wyoming Valley Mall.
“You feel like you’re giving back, and I think that’s important. That’s one of the reasons I do all my properties and my construction in this area. I love the Valley,” said shopping center owner Joe Amato.
Members of the KISS Theatre say they’re already putting in the time and the effort, but with a little bit more money, they could put all this stuff to good use. That’s why the non-profit theatre group is working to raise money to pay for $170,000 worth of renovations and materials. The group has already raised $50,000. They hope to raise another $60,000 on Friday by getting 2,500 people to donate $25 each online.
The goal? To have the theatre ready for opening night in November.
“It’s important for them to donate because this is a place for kids to be kids and have fun and do shows and everything, so we want to keep this company running and running,” said Katie Fitzgerald of Mountain Top.