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.