Bellefonte votes to demolish historic theater

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 12, 2013 8:23 AM

Photo by Paul Goyette

(Bellefonte) -- A divided borough council in Centre County has voted to approve demolition of a historic theater damaged by an arson fire a year ago.

The Bellefonte Borough Council voted 5-4 Monday to approve demolition of the Garman Theater and Opera House as well as the Hotel Do De next door.

More than 100 people packed the meeting, most supporting a proposal by the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association to save the theater.

The Bellefonte Industrial Development Authority favored a local developer's plan to raze the structures and build a 32-unit apartment complex.

The Garman was built in 1890 and played host to Harry Houdini, George Burns and Gracie Allen and other acts.

An attorney for the historical and cultural association said he plans to seek an injunction to block the demolition.

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