THE OWNERS of the historic Uptown Theater in North Philadelphia are inching ever closer toward their fundraising goal for restoring the landmark building and just got a shot in the arm from a $30,000 preservation grant.

The Uptown Entertainment and Development Corp. is expected to announce the grant at a noon news conference Wednesday in front of the 83-year-old theater on Broad Street near Dauphin.

The $30,000 grant from the 1772 Foundation, a national nonprofit that aids historical preservation, will go toward the the Uptown 5 Million campaign to raise $5 million to complete renovation plans for the building, including its auditorium.

The first half of renovation started last August, when workers began rehabilitating the theater's education and entertainment tower, a six-story office space slated to open this fall.

Linda Richardson, president of the development organization, said the building has come a long way since her group acquired it in 2002.

"When we got it, it had been abandoned for [more than] a decade and had a leaking roof, and vandals were taking the infrastructure out of it," Richardson said.

She said the organization will reveal the total raised so far on Wednesday.

Contact Sean Carlin at or 215-854-2148. Follow on Twitter @SeanCarlin84.