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Merriam Theater sale goes through

The building is now part of, and owned by, the Kimmel Center

The Kimmel Center Thursday bought the Merriam Theater from the University of the Arts, officials from both institutions said. The deal was announced a month ago but was not completed until Thursday's closing.

The Kimmel and University of the Arts agreed to an $11 million sale price, though buyer credits at settlement for repairs and other costs came to about $360,000, so the final recorded price was $10,640,000, a University of the Arts spokeswoman said.

The Kimmel has managed the Merriam for several years. Money to buy the theater came from $5 million in donations from 24 Kimmel board members, plus a $5 million grant from the William Penn Foundation. The rest of the purchase price, plus closing, financing, and initial capital costs, comes to about $5 million, which will be financed through a loan.

The Kimmel plans to renovate parts of the theater, which opened in 1918 and currently seats about 1,700, depending on the configuration for specific presentations.