Lindsay Nicole Corry absolutely would have loved having a movie theater named after her.
Her sister, Alexis Corry Kappel, described Lindsay as “a really creative person” who was “super passionate about the arts,” especially photography and music. Before Lindsay died of cancer in August 2021, she would often encourage her Sewickley-based family to expand their artistic horizons. That included occasional group excursions to the Tull Family Theater, a nonprofit cinema that’s been a Sewickley mainstay since it opened in 2017.
Last summer, it was announced that the Tull Family Foundation would not renew its sponsorship of the theater going into 2023. After finding out the Tull needed a new name, they realized the best way to honor Lindsay’s life was to have her name adorned on one of her favorite arts institutions.
In November, the Tull let the world know that it was officially rebranding as The Lindsay Theater and Cultural Center. The Tull officially became The Lindsay on Jan. 1 and has so far enjoyed a fruitful partnership with the Corrys, who are in the process of launching their own nonprofit called The Corry Family Foundation.
“When we read about the Tull name, we obviously really felt for the theater,” Kappel told the Union Progress. “Knowing how much the theater has done for the community and surrounding communities, we really felt it aligned with the foundation’s values, and especially my sister’s values.”
Kappel takes her role in Sewickley’s ecosystem quite seriously. She co-founded The Corry Family Foundation, owns local boutique Lex & Lynne, and is on the board of both The Lindsay Theater and Sewickley Chamber of Commerce.
Lex & Lynne’s brick-and-mortar store was forced to close in January after sustaining crippling damage from a December storm, according to Kappel. It still exists online, and Kappel said she plans to rebrand it around her own clothing designs in the near future. Maintaining Lex & Lynne’s physical location helped immerse her further into the Sewickley community and led to her and her family getting involved with The Lindsay.
“If I didn’t have my store, I don’t know that I would’ve thought to do this,” she said.
The Corrys are a tight-knit family who have rallied around Lindsay since she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a baby. She became invested in helping others manage the disease, especially children. Her diabetes didn’t stop her from graduating from Carnegie Mellon University and embarking on a career in finance.
At 28, Lindsay was confronted with a head and neck cancer diagnosis. She died less than two years later at age 30. Kappel said the Corrys’ hope for their fledgling foundation is to “really help young children who have challenges.” That desire stems from Lindsay’s multiple ailments and the fact Kappel’s brother, William, walks with crutches due to cerebral palsy.
“We’ll see where it goes,” Kappel said. “We’re really in the beginning stages now. But that’s where the passion really lies.”
After reading about the Tull needing a new moniker, the Corrys got in touch with CEO Carolina Pais-Barreto Thor about putting Lindsay’s name on the marquee. After some brainstorming, they settled on The Lindsay as a nod to its namesake’s love of the arts and added on “cultural center,” because “it’s more reflective of the breadth of our service and what we are,” Thor told the Union Progress.
She said the theater currently doesn’t have a sign over its front entrance, but one with the new name will be installed in April.
“For us, it is humbling and incredibly motivating to our team that they selected our organization to pay this tribute to this incredible woman,” Thor said. “It’s a beautiful way to keep her memory very dynamic and active.”
The newly renamed Lindsay Theater started the year off on a “really strong” note, Thor said, thanks to interest in the locally shot dramedy “A Man Called Otto” and its current programming slate of Oscar-nominated films. Moviegoers have also been participating in The Lindsay’s Oscar ballot contest, which will reward the person who guesses best picture and the most other categories correctly with free films through the end of the year.
No one seems confused about the Tull becoming The Lindsay, Thor said. If anything, she’s found that anyone curious about the name’s origin has been “touched by the story behind our new name.”
“I believe that we got the word out early enough, which minimized confusion,” Thor said. “In fact, our patrons haven’t missed a beat.”
That passionate customer base combined with the theater’s many philanthropic pursuits are what motivated Kappel and her family to pursue the idea of sponsoring it for at least the next decade. Even before the signage is up, it’s been special to see how The Lindsay is already acting as a monument to her sister’s legacy.
“It comes up before the movie and says, ‘The Lindsay,’ ” she said, referring to the logo that appears before screenings. “It’s so cool.”
Going forward, Kappel hopes folks in Sewickley and beyond continue “supporting a small nonprofit theater like The Lindsay.”
“They really create opportunities for others,” she said. “Supporting any organization or business that provides that for any person, why wouldn’t you want to be a part of something like that?
“That’s really what my sister’s life mission was, and that’s why this was such a perfect fit.”