In 1998 a group of Merced residents formed the Merced Theatre Foundation, Inc. with the goal of restoring the Theatre to its former glory as a showplace for motion pictures and live performances. The mission of the Foundation was to "restore the historic landmark Merced Theatre as a self-supporting center for arts,entertainment, and civic events for Merced and the Central Valley." The not-for-profit Foundation and the City of Merced worked with historic preservation experts to guide the restoration of the Theatre.
The Merced Theatre Foundation's goal was to complete Phase One and Phase Two prior to the Diamond Jubilee Gala celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Theatre in October 2006. This goal was met on schedule. Phase Three was given a boost when a major grant was received in August 2007. Restoration of The Art Kamangar Center at The Merced Theatre was completed April 21st, 2012.
Current makeup of the Merced Theatre Foundation Executive Board:
Adam Lauppe, President
Mary Camper, Vice President
Grey Roberts, Treasurer
Board of Directors:
Mary Camper, Kathleen Crookham, Jim Cunningham, Le'Trice Curl, Robert Dinuzzo, Robert Dylina, RC Essig, Kim Garner,
Skip George, Skip Hinman, Dr. Art Kamangar, Jane Lawrence, Adam Lauppe, Amy Lozano-Smith, Neil Morse, Maxwell Norton,
L. Carmen Ramirez, Grey Roberts
Merced Theatre Foundation Founding Board Members: Wendell Olson, Lorraine Murphy Wenrich