Kimmel Center in Talks to Buy Merriam Theater from University of the Arts

Philadelphia cultural powerhouse The Kimmel Center is in talks to bring a storied city theater into its portfolio: The Merriam Theater.

The Kimmel is seeking to buy the Merriam from University of the Arts for $11 million, a Kimmel spokeswoman confirmed Friday night.

The terms of the deal are not yet finalized, but both parties expect it to close next week.

The Merriam opened 98 years ago as the Sam Shubert Theater. It stands along South Broad Street, just north of The Kimmel Center and adjacent to the iconic Academy of Music at Locust Street.

The Kimmel Center already handles sales, rentals and promotion for the theater. After the property changes hands, the Kimmel is considering backstage and front-of-house renovations to the space, officials said.

The purchase is being financed through $5 million in gifts from Kimmel board members, a $5 million grant from the William Penn Foundation and a $5 million loan to cover capital expenses and other fees.

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