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Lambertville Hall finds rebirth as local arts spot

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 23 2014 09:10:57 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 23 2014 10:05:08 PM CDT

"Rebirth" could be the title of the story for Lambertville Hall.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. -

"Rebirth" could be the title of the story for Lambertville Hall.

After a chapter of controversy, the old New Jersey church is breathing new life into the local art scene.

Although a river may separate the Bucks County Playhouse and Lambertville Hall, both now flow together.

Less than a year ago the center of the hall was empty.

Now musical theater, play writing classes, and rehearsals for shows at the Bucks County Playhouse fill the hall nightly.

Hester Kamin is Director of Education.

"It's any theater's dream, any director's dream," she said.

The hall is also hosting a popular Michener Art Museum exhibit honoring the Bucks County Playhouse.

"In a way mirroring the playhouse's revival," curator Kate Marshall said.

Local artists are using the hall as gallery space for this weekend's Shad Fest.

"I think it's an incredible asset for New Hope and Lambertville," Kamin also said.

So does the Bridge Street Foundation. The nonprofit, which has revived the Playhouse, has spent over $2-million to transform and renovate the hall.

"New work needs incubation, which means we need space to bring good artists and directors together, it all feeds into the playhouse," Playhouse producer and director Alex Fraser said.

In January the hall had an open house where they asked the community what they wanted.

Everything happening now was handpicked by the public, this less than a year after community outcry over lack of parking derailed plans for a 500 seat music hall and restaurant.

But the story of Lambertville Hall is ongoing with new chapters constantly being written.