Elks Theatre owners cited with code violations

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The owners of the Elks Building in Middletown, Dauphin County are facing a code violation for unsafe conditions because of a recent ceiling collapse.

The historic Elks Building has been standing since 1911. While the Elks Theatre remains up and running, the ceiling collapsed in another part of the building, and the borough isn’t happy.

“We have real concerns about the health and integrity of that building,” says Middletown spokesman Chris Courogen, who noted the building’s owner have received multiple code violations over the years.

The Greater Middletown Economic Development Corporation owns the building.

The balcony in the theatre was closed in the fall because of the ceiling in that part of the building. Even though netting still hangs, the owners maintain it’s not unsafe.

The recent ceiling collapse happened in the vacant Elks Lodge part of the building, sending water into a store underneath it.

“Any violations that have been brought to our attention, those repairs are already underway, and we will continue to work on it until they are resolved,” says GMEDC board member Gordon Einhorn.

Borough officials say they want Elks Theatre to remain open as part of the new downtown revitalization plan. And the GMEDC wants to come to an agreement to sell the building to the borough, but continue to lease the theatre.

“We are in negotiations with the borough to do that, we’re hoping to come to a resolution on that within the next month or two,” says Einhorn.