Securing the future of the Rosendale Theatre

posted by academy133 on April 26, 2010 at 9:49 am

ROSENDALE, NY — Here’s a wonderful story about how a nonprofit organization is raising funds to preserve a 296-seat single-screen movie theater “that was once a vaudeville parlor, casino and gathering hall in a tiny rural cement town”.

One of the best barometers of whether a small town has a pulse is the old downtown movie house. If it has been knocked down, boarded up or turned into a porno place, the omens are not good. If it is hanging in there, that’s promising. If it’s been refurbished or somehow morphed into a beloved institution, chances are the town is just fine. The Rosendale Theater is definitely behind Door No. 3.

Like the semi-shabby downtown, the 296-seat theater with the plain-brick facade, ancient candy machines and honor-system popcorn isn’t much to look at. It opened as a movie theater in 1949 (first film, the Western “Blood on the Moon” with Robert Mitchum), and the Cacchio family has owned it ever since. They’ve changed with the times, so that it’s now essentially an art house showing indie films, often with a progressive bent, plus local music or theater.

Read more in the New York Times.

More about the Rosendale Theatre Collective here.

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