It's a story that, in many ways, parallels that of the '''Allendale Theatre''' in Allentown: built in the 1920s as a silent movie palace in a then-thriving neighborhood, by the '70s it had been reduced to showing B movies and porn before closing outright, and was subsequently rescued from the threat of demolition and resurrected as a performance venue. Unlike the Allendale, though, the rebirth of the Varsity Theatre was as a venue for live music instead of theatrical performances — and rather than a multipronged effort on the part of a diverse group of preservationists and community stakeholders, the restoration of the Varsity was the six-year labor of love of a single individual: Ibrahim Cissé, a computer technologist originally from [[Côte d'Ivoire]] who now serves as head of the '''Bailey Business Association'''. The Varsity had its grand reopening in January 2016, and now plays host to everything from hip-hop acts to gospel choirs to the '''Nickel City Opera'''.
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