UPTOWN! Entertainment Alliance is a non-profit organization promoting cultural, economic, and civic life experiences in our community through live theater, music, dance, film and other local events in the heart of West Chester, Pennsylvania’s historic district.
UPTOWN! will do this by:
• Creating a cultural hub for individuals and families within walking distance to West Chester’s bustling boutiques and restaurants
• Engaging underserved age and income groups through age and culturally sensitive programming
• Preserving an important part of local and national history
West Chester needs a theater
UPTOWN! Entertainment Alliance started as a conversation among friends. Over the past six years, that conversation has evolved into a formalized, passionate effort to bring a theater to West Chester, PA. Highlights include:
• Forming a 501(C)(3) nonprofit corporation.
• Initiating research which validates the need for a theater
• Presenting live performance in alternate venues
• Hosting four sold-out fundraising galas
The theater finds a home
In February 2013, UPTOWN! found a home for its theater – the historic West Chester National Guard Armory located at 226 High Street. With the help of local legislators, Pennsylvania State Senator Andrew Dinniman and Pennsylvania State Representative Dan Truitt, Uptown! Entertainment Alliance secured an Agreement from the State of Pennsylvania to transform this grand old building into a multi-use theater.
The Theater has a name
In October 2016, the performing arts finally have a place to call home in West Chester, PA and now, that home has a name. Thanks to a generous contribution from Chris and Beth Knauer, Uptown! Entertainment Alliance’s new theater will be named The Knauer Theater for the Performing Arts in honor of Chris Knauer’s grandmother Lena and parents, David and Nancy Knauer who all loved West Chester, music and the arts.
The West Chester National Guard Armory building was built in 1916 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It housed the National Guard’s Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry and 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, which traces its lineage directly to Benjamin Franklin, who formed the unit in 1747 to protect the Colonies in the French and Indian War. This unit of soldiers has represented the United States in nearly every war since and is the most decorated unit of our armed forces.
This grand 10,900 square foot space with its barrel-vaulted ceiling offers the perfect venue for a theater and a lasting tribute to courage and sacrifices made by the men of the Bravo Company!