A partnership between Muhlenberg College and the Civic Theatre of Allentown will be a big benefit to both organizations, officials announced Wednesday.

The four-year partnership, beginning July 1, 2013, will support The Civic Theatre’s digital cinema challenge and provide Muhlenberg students, faculty, and staff with expanded access to the theater's facilities and programs, officials said.

“Our students have easy access to Civic Theatre, which is just a few blocks from campus, and this new alliance gives them more opportunities and a greater incentive to enjoy the cultural offerings of our community," said Randy Helm, president, Muhlenberg College.

Certain special events generated by the partnership will be open to the public, including a late-night film series, which will show at least 10 films per semester, officials said.

A formalized internship program will be also established, and students will receive free, year-long memberships to Civic Theatre, giving them a discount on all films and theatrical programming.

"We have always relished the opportunity to provide our Muhlenberg neighbors access to independent film, theatrical programming, and special events that enhance the exceptional education they receive from the college, and this partnership will open Civic's doors even more members of the Muhlenberg College community," said Michael Traupman, Civic Theatre's managing director.