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BOSTON-The city will renovate its Strand Theater in Dorchester within the next few months as part of a multi-year effort to turn the theater into a center for the arts. The city has hired Wilson Butler Architects to handle the redesign.

The city has also asked for the help of former Broadway in Boston president Tony McLean, an independent director and producer. He has been serving as liaison between the architectural firm and local arts groups. The city also is working with Boston attorney and former AOL Time Warner vice chairman Ken Novak, who headed up last year’s mayoral task force on the Strand.

The city took over the theater in July 2004 and installed an interim manager to oversee the property until it could find an organization capable of managing and renovating the theater. While the city received dozens of inquiries about the theater when it issued a request for proposals in August 2004, no organization was capable of managing it, a city spokesman tells GlobeSt.com. Since that time, the theater has been cleaned and reopened for approximately 200 days in the last year.

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