Oneonta Theatre

47 Chestnut Street,
Oneonta, NY 13820

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Oneonta Theatre, Oneonta NY in 1929

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Oneonta Theatre opened as a single auditorium theater in 1897, and is on the National and State Register of Historic Places. By 1941 it was operated by the Schine Circuit. In the early 2000’s it returned to its roots to accomodate live performances after being sold to former employee Terry Mattison.

Mattison, who has worked at the theater since 1974, converted the twinned 105-year-old movie house into a live theater venue. He also made other modifications including repairing the theater’s roof and other touch-ups.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

theOT
theOT on June 27, 2010 at 3:45 pm

The Oneonta Theatre is reopening Saturday July 31st 2010 as Central NY’s newest yet oldest national touring venue. The open house Gala is free to the public and will be celebrated with some central NY’s most talented acts and artists.

If anyone has pictures of the theatre or knows who has some, we would love to get copies , we are trying to compile everything we can for our history wall and website. the oldes phot we have is 1970

Does anyone know of any theatre still in operation that are older than the 1897 Oneonta Theatre. The only one I could find was the Walnut in Philidelphia.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on August 9, 2010 at 10:25 am

Nice article good luck to them.

SchineHistorian
SchineHistorian on November 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Photos taken November 15, 2010 at the Oneonta Theater. It was great to meet Tom the owner and supporters Julie and Patrice.

View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Good picture of theatre,Stories also interesting.

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on May 13, 2011 at 12:06 am

Although it has been much remodeled through the years, the Orpheum Theatre in Boston dates from 1852. It is listed here on CT.

In Troy NY, we have the Troy Music Hall which opened in 1875. It has never been a motion picture theatre so it is not listed on this site. It has spectacular acoustics and has only featured musical performances.

Near here is also the Cohoes Music Hall, which opened in 1874. Although it is restored and open today, it was closed for 69 years (1905-1974). It is used for live theatre productions today.

SchineHistorian
SchineHistorian on May 13, 2011 at 7:01 am

Hey AlbanyGregg – Theatre Historical Society is planning their Conclave for the Albany/Berkshire area in 2013 – sounds like you would have a LOT of ideas for us! Email me at if you’d like to start a dialog on the “don’t miss” locations in your region! (Troy & Cohoes are on the “must see” list along with, obviously, the Palace)

cmbussmann
cmbussmann on April 19, 2012 at 6:37 am

The Oneonta Theatre, aka The Oneonta 1 & 2, was actually my least favorite of the three Oneonta movie joints available to me growing up. The main auditorium was really nice, with beautiful vaudevillian ornamentation and a huge screen. A little run-down, it had a shabby retro-chic that I admired. But the acoustics of the main room were a huge problem. If you sat under the balcony, the sound was super-compressed, muffled, and difficult to hear. If you sat closer to the screen, the open-air acoustics absorbed most of the dialogue. Sound in the balcony (which was rarely open during my time there) wasn’t much better. That room was great for live theater (The Orpheus troupe performed there often) but was pretty dismal for films.

The second room was built off the balcony and was also pretty pathetic. Super-tiny, it held only 200 people and had two huge support pillars jutting up through the floor into the ceiling, obscuring the view if you didn’t sit dead center. The sound was fine, however, and it was in this room that I first saw “Pulp Fiction,” which was a minor epiphany at the time.

The 1 & 2 stopped showing first-run movies sometime around 2006 and the building has since been completely restored and repurposed as a live event space hosting minor circuit touring bands. I am glad it was saved and restored and think it will live a better life as a concert hall than it did as a movie theater.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on December 9, 2012 at 5:22 am

The theatre is closing on January 1.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/12/oneonta_theatre_closing_cny_concerts.html

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on May 20, 2014 at 4:23 pm

It’s open again and hosting concerts. There is a great collection of photos of the current day theatre at their website under “Then & Now”.

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