Town Hall Theater

5428 Shady Avenue,
Lowville, NY 13367

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm

A book published in 1902 describes the Town Hall and Opera House in Lowville, built in 1899 and designed by Leon H. Lempert & Son:


“This building was built at the expense of the town by virtue of a special act of the legislature, and a large majority vote of the electors of the town, in 1899, at a cost of about $25,000. By virtue of said act of the legislature the management was vested in the town board, consisting of Ira Sharp, supervisor, W. H. Egleton, Jay C. Bardo, L. B. Searls and Frank E. Groodell, justices of the peace, and a committee consisting of George Sherwood, Charles S. Mereness, E. S. K. Merrell, Eugene Arthur and Julian H. Wood.

“The building is constructed so as to be used for town hall and opera house purposes. It is said to be one of the best opera houses in this section of the country. It has a seating capacity of about 1,000. It is built of brick of various colors. The scenery and stage are fine, and has grand electric illumination. It is in the interior one of the most beautifully finished buildings in Northern New York, and furnishes a place for fun, entertainment, pleasure and instruction.”

The facade of the building above the first floor appears to still be pretty much as Lempert designed it, but the interior was completely remodeled by Michael DeAngelis in 1949, along with the ground floor exterior. Here is a fresh link to the December 3, 1949, Boxoffice article about the remodeling, to replace the dead link in one of my earlier comments.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Forgot to put a link to the Google Books Preview of Maggie Valentine’s book.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm

A Lowville Opera House was mentioned in the March 18, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World. It was one of several theaters that had been leased or managed by George A. Hickey, recently named manager of the Triangle company’s Buffalo film exchange, so the house must have been showing movies at least part of the time prior to 1916

Plate 5, on page 15 of Maggie Valentine’s The Show Starts on the Sidewalk has a ca. 1900 photo of the Lowville Opera House.

An advertisement for architectural firm Leon H.Lempert & Son in the 1906-1907 edition of Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide lists the “Town Hall (Opera House), Lowville, N.Y.” as one of the firm’s projects.

An item from the Lowville Journal Republican in mid-1899 said that initial bids for construction of the Town Hall had come in over estimates, and that architect Lempert had subsequently altered the plans, scaling back some features, including reducing the size of the stage from 39x64 feet to 26x64 feet.

The theater appears to have been called both Town Hall and Lowville Opera House, or just Opera House, interchangeably for several decades, but the latter appeared in the local newspaper most frequently.

adamghost on August 23, 2013 at 12:51 am

Digitized archives of the Journal and Republican and Lowville Times pinpoint the opening of the Opera House to May 6, 1926.

pobrien on July 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm

The Town Hall Theater has beat the odds and has made a successful transition to digital projection. We installed a brand new silver screen in 2011 followed in 2012 by installation of a Chrisitie series II projector, new surround sound and realD 3D.

Patsy on September 7, 2010 at 7:51 am

Patrick: I just printed out the article that you posted on September 7. Would love to see your DeAngelis designed theatre someday. Please email me at at your convenience to set up a possible tour. Current plans later this Fall are to see the Strand in Brockport NY which is also a DeAngelis theatre.

pobrien on September 7, 2010 at 6:55 am

View link

Recent article on the Town Hall Theater

MPol on August 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

It looks like a nifty little theatre, both inside and out. Too bad that the powers-that-be chose to demolish it instead of doing what they could do to save it from the wrecking ball.

Patsy on August 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

Just read that you are about an hour north of Utica. Will let you know if we come your way.

Patsy on August 22, 2010 at 10:26 am

pobrien: Nice to see some great interior photos of a theatre that was designed by DeAngelis who also designed by hometown theatre, the Grand in Westfield NY. Unfortunately, the powers to be demolished it in the mid 90’s. I was living in south FL at the time and wasn’t around to help save this art deco cinema treasure. I noticed your screen name being “pobrien” so I assume you are one of the family owners. Keep CT posted on any and all progress. Where is Lowville NY located as I am in Western NYS and would love to visit your area and tour the Lowville Town Hall Theater. In the Fall I hope to visit another DeAngelis designed theatre, the Strand in Brockport NY.

pobrien on August 22, 2010 at 10:00 am

I would like to thank folks for their interest in our Theater. We have added pictures to our website that can be accessed by link above or We are also on facebook at and twitter at

MPol on December 27, 2009 at 8:14 am

Interesting article and photo, Joe Vogel. Thanks for posting it and sharing it with everybody here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 27, 2009 at 1:56 am

A few pictures of the Town Hall Theatre are in this Boxoffice article from December 3, 1949. The article calls the style “modern baroque,” but it’s Art Moderne.

MPol on July 11, 2009 at 7:23 am

Hi, Lost Memory. Although I, too have been to and traveled through upstate New York, I’d never heard of this particular town or the Town Hall Theatre. A wonderful thing about this site is that one learns something else every day.

Patsy on July 11, 2009 at 6:37 am

Lost: Nice to see much chatter on this theater as it had been silent…..until now!

MPol on July 10, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Thanks, Lost Memory. Although I’m not familiar with Town Hall Theatre, or have any photographs of this neat-looking theatre, or the familiarity of embedding photos into forums, I look forward to seeing any photographs of Town Hall Theatre that might come up.

MPol on July 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Hi, Patsy. Thanks! :)

Patsy on July 10, 2009 at 2:41 pm

MPol: Glad to read that you agree!

MPol on July 10, 2009 at 8:50 am

It’s agreed; photos of the Town Hall Theatre, both of the exterior and interior of the theatre, would be nice.

Patsy on July 10, 2009 at 4:50 am

Lost: Can you provide us with any photos of this architecturally designed theater by Michael DeAngelis?