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I’m looking right at it, and this theater is open for business. The Nutcracker Suite is playing.
Incidentally, Hamlin’s/CVS itself is in an old theater building, the Hippodrome/Court (1908-1927).
The early Royal Theater was only one block away from the Regus, but apparently was a different building.
The only part that still looks like a theater is the restroom area on the second floor.
Ad in Cincinnatus newspaper indicates Point Theatre was operating, by that name, no later than March 1940.
Still standing as of 2009, picture here:
The first movie theater I ever went to, in 1971.
Correction: two fires. Does seem a bit improbable…until I look at the building! Looks like it might have been through a fire or two.
The building as shown in the ‘70s photo says “1907” over the door and the architecture looks more typical of a store of that era (the article above says the original Cozy started life as a store built in 1907) than of a rebuilt theater in the '20s…it may well be that the fire gutted the building but left at least some of the original brick/stone (hard to tell) walls standing.
What a trippy place.
Well, that picture is different!
Byron Gosh = By Gosh. Heh.
Just when I thought the tale of Whitney Point’s movie theaters couldn’t get any weirder or more confusing. As I was trying to confirm or deny the existence of the Whitney Point Opera House/Point Theater in the town (later village) hall, I just ran across this item from the DeRuyter paper in 1934:
“Byron Gosh, a former circus clown has leased the Whitey Point village hall, and is installing sound equipment for a moving picture theatre.”
So, yes, there was theatre in the village hall…in 1934. But the opera house was still in operation as late in 1936. They can’t be one and the same, then. Can they?
So, to recap, here is what we know about the many theaters in Whitney Point, population 1,000:
I promise I will get to the bottom of all this someday, and when I have a story that makes sense, update it all for cinematreasures!
One significant bit of trvia I forgot to mention: the Victory supermarket chain got its start in this building, around 1901.
1899 article in the Press indicates that the opera house was open and operating in the second and third floors of “the public building.” If that refers to the town hall, we may finally have a location for this theater (and it would help explain, if my vague memory of long-ago research is correct, why the village fathers asked the upstart second opera house to close in 1925). A 1905 post card shows the town hall building was indeed three stories high…it just gives no outward indication, other than its dimensions, of being an opera house/theater.
A 1926 article in the Press refers to “the” theater in Whitney Point, which may give credence to my vague childhood memory of finding an article about one the theaters being forced to close in 1925. Was the Carl Bird theater that went bust in 1931 a reopening of the Tyler? There are continuous references in the Press to an “opera house at Whitney Point” (only one of them apparently referring to the Tyler) from 1899 through 1936.
It’s become clear that, in 1924 at least, there were two theaters in Whitney Point. The newer, movie-only one was called “Tyler Theater.” Almost simultaneously in the Press there is mention of a “Crescent Theater” in Whitney Point. That may well have been another name for the opera house/Point Theater — though at this point, who knows.
A November 1931 article from DeRuyter states that “Carl Bird’s movie house in Whitney Point has gone out of business.” No idea where that fits in; it may be a later iteration of the Tyler. For such a small town, Whitney Point seems to have had a lot of theaters. It will probably take someone going through old copies of the Reporter to conclusively sort this all out.
We have a name! Per 1922 and 1924 issues of the Binghamton Press, this was named the Tyler Theater.
Interestingly, there is also mention of a Crescent Theater in Whitney Point in 1924, only one month after mention of the Tyler in the same newspaper. So presumably (though by no means certain) this was a short-term name for the opera house.
And more confusing information: an item from a November 1931 DeRuyter paper states: “Carl Bird’s movie house at Whitney Point has gone out of business.” No idea where that fits, but chances are that is the same theater as this one.
Further research reveals that Mt. Upton had an opera house that was in operation as early as 1900 and still functional as late as 1935. It is not known if Smalley built a new theater or set up shop in the existing opera house, but it may be that Dusty Miller’s performance took place at what was formerly called the Mt. Upton Opera House.
Opened Thursday, June 17, 1915. First feature was five-reel film “The Fire And The Sword.”
Still researching where this theater was, and another curious data point: an 1898 special pamphlet put out by the Whitney Point Reporter is online and viewable. It appears to have been a bit of boosterism to celebrate the rebuilding of the town after the disastrous 1897 fire. It contains pictures of most of the reconstructed downtown area. What is odd is that there are only two mentions of the opera house, both PRIOR to the fire. There’s no mention of a rebuilt opera house, which one would expect. I don’t recall where I got the 1897 date above, but wherever it was, it appears to be wrong. It seems the opera house rebuilding may have lagged behind the rest of the town, and that may mean it went up on a side street or some other place one would not expect.
Interesting. I’ll check it out. In one other case Jack Shay got the order of theater names backwards, so that also may be the case here.
Charlie Zayleskie of Binghamton has done further research on this theater and it appears the building may NOT have been demolished. The numbering of the day was slightly different from what it is now and puts the old theater to the east, not west, of the still-existing S.V.S. Club building, which means the theater may be one of the three older buildings that stand in that area. The wooden building next to the S.V.S. building may be ruled out for architectural and other reasons.
According to Charlie, the bartender at Frankie’s Bar a few doors down claimed (without him asking) that that building used to be a theater at one point. The SV is the only theater I know of that existed in this area, so if the bartender is correct, that probably was the location of the SV. While it looks smaller and newer than a theater from the teens, the concrete construction of the sides is nearly identical to that of the Milfred Theatre in Greene, which was built in 1915. Another candidate might be the older brick building that stands in between Frankie’s and the SVS Club building, which shows signs of extensive remodeling on the first floor and having been used (or added on to as) as a garage at one point (the SV Theater was apparently converted to a garage in the ‘20s). Or…it could still be a parking lot (which lies between the two buildings in question).
The Binghamton was apparently also dark through much of the ‘50s, occasionally reopening for special events, and in 1957 a plan was floated to level the floor and turn it into office space. Luckily, it didn’t happen.
Opened Nov. 22, 1913. Closed March 25, 1950. Reopened March 1952 after a remodeling, but after a very gung-ho effort to rebrand the venue (first as a western house, then showing first-run art films), the theater folded again a year later. By 1956, it had been purchased by Ben Feinberg and converted (by leveling the floor) to a data processing center for IBM. (The Binghamton Theater — now the Forum — narrowly escaped the same fate at around this time) In 1961, the theater building was mooted for a new Social Security office (appropriate, observers noted, because FDR had in fact once personally campaigned from the Symphony stage). The government moved in on a five-year lease in June. The April 24, 1961 issue of the Press has a good picture of the theatre building as a stood then — a sadly nondescript three story building that bore little evidence of its earlier use. The Social Security office remained in the building until at least 1969. It has since been demolished.
The 1913 opening night had a full house (1,000 patrons), but the movie failed to arrive!