Church buys Strasburg Theater
STRASBURG – The Strasburg Theater has been sold to La Iglesia Asambleas de Dios Bethel, a Pentecostal hispanic church formerly based in Front Royal, for $275,000 by Alpine Rose L.L.C.
The 10,000-square-foot building is located at 151 W. King St. Michelle Bixler, Strasburg’s economic development and marketing manager, said she’s glad it has a new owner.
“We’re happy to have somebody in the building and giving it some of the attention it deserves,” she said. “I’m excited to have it draw in a community that’s a little more diverse than we’re used to and we’re looking forward to that.”
Built in 1930, the building sat vacant for roughly three years before its purchase on Nov. 3.
Church pastor Elias Pimentel said he and his congregation are looking forward to moving and they plan to revamp the former theater.
“We’re very excited,” he said. “It’s unbelievable for people right now. We didn’t have anything like this before. We are a young church and we haven’t experienced anything like this previously. … We’re planning to update the space, and maybe do some touch ups and things. We’re going to put new carpets and stuff like that, new toilets, everything pretty much new.”
Pimentel, a plumber by trade, said he’s going to do all the work himself, which will save quite a bit of money.
“We want to make it beautiful,” he said. “We’re not just serving people, we’re serving the Lord and it’s not only for ourselves, it’s for everybody here. … I don’t think this is my plan, it’s the Lord’s plan.”
Pimentel plans to create some rooms for children’s classes on the former theater’s second floor and will be putting an office for himself near the front door. The theater’s 450 seats will remain in place, offering ample accommodations for the congregation’s growth.
The church, founded in 2013, has a congregation of about 60 people and Pimentel said they hope to open around the end of the month. He said that he has plans to institute bilingual masses to give English speakers a new perspective and to maintain traditions among the younger generations of Spanish speakers who have lived their whole lives among English speakers. Pimentel said that his parishioners come from up and down the county and Winchester as well as Front Royal, adding that the location in Strasburg is a good midpoint between those areas.
The church will offer services at 10:30 on Sunday mornings and 7 p.m. on Friday evenings, Pimentel said.
The town will no longer be able collect property taxes on the building, due its exemption as a church, but Bixler said the town will welcome visitors who may visit the local shops and restaurants.
“We welcome anyone who wants to come in,” Bixler said. “I don’t care if its five people or 600 people – anytime we have an opportunity to bring folks downtown and keep them here.”
Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org.