168-170 Water Street,
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Peoples' Theatre was opened in an older multi-story building in either 1915 or 1920 (as I have written elsewhere, I did research on old theatres in Binghamton as a child. I remember finding the article on the opening of the theatre — complete with photo — but years later I cannot remember which of the two years it was, nor can I find it online).
The theatre closed Saturday, September 27, 1930, with owner Jesse C. Hilman announcing plans in the Press to replace the theatre with a miniature golf course (!). The Press reported that “the front and the rear of the present theatre will be removed as well as the seats, furniture and fixtures used for movie purposes”. The ambitious undertaking was scheduled to be completed by October 15.
Perhaps not surprisingly, by 1933 the theatre had found new life as a night club called “Peoples”. This also appears to have a been a short-lived venture.
The impressive building still stands in good condition and is still in use. The ornate trim on the first two stories is a subtle reminder of its gaudier days as a movie theatre.
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