DDG to follow own plan on Robins renovation

Tribune Chronicle

WARREN — Plans to renovate the Robins Theatre is unconnected to past efforts to save the downtown Warren landmark, according to Downtown Development Group President Mark D. Marvin.

Marvin said he issued a press release late New Year’s Eve because he believed some of the media reports following the Tribune Chronicle’s story announcing his purchase of the building from Brad Phillips and Heritage Galleria Ltd. contained inaccurate and/or misleading information.

According to the release, “Although we are aware of the past effort of others, Downtown Development Group and Sunrise Entertainment have no affiliation with past efforts to renovate The Robins Theatre nor do they have any affiliation with past organizations associated with this effort.”

In recent years, the Robins Project has organized volunteer cleanup efforts at the theater, and it partnered with The New School in New York City to develop potential uses for the space.

“The efforts of The Robins Project as well as The New School in New York had no impact on our decision to purchase The Robins Theatre, and we had already developed a prospectus for the renovation and operation of this theatre prior to our discussions with Mr. Brad Phillips,” the release states.

DDG purchased the building, which includes the decades-dormant theater and other retail/office spaces, for $375,000, and Marvin said last week that DDG plans to invest between $5 million and $7 million to renovate the space with tentative plans to reopen the theater in two years.

Sunrise Entertainment, which presents the River Rock at the Amp series at the Warren Community Amphitheatre and has promoted concerts and theatrical performances at several area venues, will book entertainment for the Robins once it opens.

A press conference by invitation only is scheduled Feb. 6 to reveal more details about their plans.