VINELAND — The Landis Theater still has no certificate of occupancy and may not get one in time before tonight’s scheduled soft opening for a Sacred Heart High School play, city officials said.
Plumbing, building, fire and electrical inspectors walked through the building Wednesday as they conducted inspections that, as of late Wednesday afternoon, were still not complete. City Building Inspector Rudy Tramontana said he and a fire inspector will return this morning to complete the inspections.
When asked whether the theater would likely pass inspections today, Tramontana said, “There’s always that possibility.” He gave a similar answer when asked whether it might fail inspections, saying, “The possibility’s still open, yes.”
Kevin Kirchner, the city’s top construction official, said he was “leery about letting them open” because there had not been significant testing of the sprinkler system used for fire suppression.
Developer Hans Lampart needs the building to pass inspection in order to get a temporary certificate of occupancy that allows the theater to open for the 7:30 p.m. show.
Sacred Heart’s theater group is scheduled to perform “Forty-Second Street” but has been unable to move its sets into the theater. Lampart said he was unsure when they would do so or how things would play out.
The theater has been vacant since 1987 but has been restored almost completely to match the themes present when it opened in 1937. The project is the first of the city’s Four Corners redevelopment efforts to begin at Landis and East avenues.
Inside, the seats are in, the rugs are down and the stage appears complete. Construction workers are still on-site finalizing their renovations.
Lampart was frustrated because a city fire inspector didn’t arrive at 8 a.m. as expected, but rather at noon. Lampart said Landis Fire Protection told the inspector to do so because the sprinklers wouldn’t be ready for a test until then, but Lampart was surprised the inspector didn’t come earlier to cover other parts of the inspection.
Should the theater open in time, it would also host productions of “Forty-Second Street” on Friday and Saturday as well. The theater’s “grand opening” is set for May 22.
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