Symphony Theater

109 Chenango Street,
Binghamton, NY 13901

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adamghost on September 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm

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!