Theater Collaborative: Here's how you can help make Gateway Theater more accessible - Ocean City Sentinel: Arts & Entertainment

Theater Collaborative: Here's how you can help make Gateway Theater more accessible

By Mary Rudloff | Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:00 am

The Gateway Theater needs your help to make the building more accessible to patrons with disabilities, according to the Theater Collaborative of South Jersey (TCSJ).

After success in July and August, the TCSJ is going for another Pepsi Refresh grant this month to help with repairs to the 100-year-old Gateway Theater. (See story, photos on page A3.)

The group’s goal for September is to make the theater accessible to those with physical limitations or disabilities.

The grant would be to build a handicap ramp and ADA compliant restrooms. If possible, the Theater Collaborative of South Jersey – the group rebuilding the Gateway – hopes to add hearing assistance equipment.

To do the work, the group is asking for the public’s help.

There are three ways to vote for the Pepsi Refresh Grant: by text message, at or on Facebook.

Everyone can vote once a day from an email address, or one text message a day.

In less than one minute, you can help save the historic Gateway Theater without spending a dime.

And at, you can click to not receive unwanted emails from them – and you actually don’t receive them. Some local voters, however, report getting some pretty sweet deals and offers by email.

At the site, sign in, then click “browse ideas and vote.” Go to the $50,000 category and click on projects “near you” and look for the Gateway Theater project on the short list of projects.

On Facebook, search for “Pepsi” and the Pepsi Refresh Project is right on its home page. Texting is easy – if you’re not sure, ask your kids – and you can vote by texting “102255” to the number 73774.

That quickly, you’ve helped the Gateway Theater move one step closer to opening its doors.

“This is a totally local effort,” TCSJ head Keith Cooper said. “This theater is coming together without any federal funds, no state funds. It’s local people, local money, and, thank goodness, Pepsi.”

“The City of Somers Point has been very supportive,” TCSJ’s Jim Dalfonso added.

The city owns the theater property, and TCSJ leases it from the city for one dollar a year, with a 20-year lease. The city bought the theater more than two years ago to keep it from being sold and turned into condominiums.

“This is a local effort, and it will be a community building when it’s finished,” Cooper said. “The people are helping us save the building, so that we can have it here for the community to enjoy.”

All they are asking is for anyone willing to do their part and vote ... and spread the word.