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The York Little Theatre is changing its name for the first time in its 83 years.

The theater has rechristened itself The Belmont Theatre, a nod to its longtime home at 27 S. Belmont St. in Spring Garden Township, where it has been since 1953.

 

The change is effectively a rebranding step, according to Lyn Bergdoll, the theater's executive director. Back when the theater started in 1933, "little theater" was a common name for community theaters.

But these days it isn't — "little" connotes amateurishness, something lesser, she said.

"Sometimes people think we only do children's shows," she said.

In other words: Not what the theater seeks to be, nor what it believes it is.

It's a full community theater, drawing performers and crowds from York County and the surrounding area, Bergdoll said.

"The mission of this theater does not change," she said. "We are the community theater of York."

The next show is "The King & I," opening Friday, June 17; it'll run weekends through Sunday, June 26.

Bergdoll said the theater is excited about the show, which has a big cast and crew and features intricate sets.

"It's going to be elaborate," she said. "The king's palace is going to be exquisite."

The logistical tweaks associated with the name change will come over the next few months. The theater will swap out the signage soon, getting new marquees in July, she said. She said the web address will move, too — going from ylt.org to thebelmont.org, though the former will send people to the new site for the foreseeable future. The new site isn't up yet; it'll likely get going next week, she said.

There's a new logo, too. The modernist logo more or less just consisting of "York Little Theatre" in a sans-serif typeface will go in favor of a flashier, more fluorescent logo with something of a '70s vibe.

One-third of the theater's funding comes from ticket sales, with the other two-thirds coming from donations, Bergdoll said.

— Reach Sean Cotter at scotter@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @SPCotterYD.

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