What’s Next For the Closed-Down, Historic Oneonta Theatre?
If you're like me and grew up going to the historic Oneonta Theatre to see movies, then chances are you have a nostalgic place in your heart for the old theatre and would love to see it come back to life and even thrive again. If that's the case, I have some news to share about the current status of the closed-down theatre on Chestnut Street but for those who would enjoy a brief recap of its ownership history within the last 50 years...
Back in 2009 Tom Cormier bought the theatre from Terry Madison who could no longer keep the doors to the theatre open. So he passed the ownership torch to Cormier who promised to utilize it as a theatre instead of turning it into something completely different. Thousands of dollars later with significant renovations done, the theater was reopened as an entertainment venue.
In 2008, the year prior to Cormier purchasing the building, Friends of the Oneonta Theatre (FOTOT) was formed as a 5013C non-profit to support the theatre. Later on, after Tom Cormier announced that he had to close the theatre because it just wasn't viable as a business, the group stepped with the intention of trying to reopen it as soon as possible.
Bob Brzozowski, a member of the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre, talked to us here at Townsquare Media Oneonta very recently, giving us an update on what's next for the historic theatre. Brzozowski says that the theatre is still in pretty good shape since its last closing and the group is getting ready to purchase the building with the intent of reopening it and bringing it back as a community venue for multiple types of entertainment and uses.
Thanks to some grant money, FOTOT was able to have a study done on the feasibility/sustainability of the Oneonta Theatre to determine if it made sense to try to save it and reopen it. The study consisted of two parts: an architectural review and restoration study, including detailed cost estimates; and a business plan study to determine the operational costs of running the theatre once it is restored. To see the results of that feasibility study click here.
Brzozowski says, there is a lot to do yet with money to raise to realize the reopening dream and he invites everyone to enjoy a fundraising event on the theatre's behalf on July 10 (rain date July 11), at Soda Jerks/Action Lube in the west end of Oneonta on Chestnut Street. There will be a Vintage Car Show with free admission to the public and only $10 for car show participants, with music, food, a silent auction, and more.
Find out everything you need to know about this fundraiser and more on the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre facebook page. You can find more information about the history and status of the Oneonta Theatre at oneontatheatre.org.
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