Cooperstown Theatre

137 Main Street,
Cooperstown, NY 13326

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NickyG on December 29, 2016 at 9:35 am

I remember seeing Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore in the early 70s, with my mother (dad stayed home in New Jersey) while visiting Cooperstown, Hall of Fame, etc. The movie choice was interesting because over time I became increasingly aware of her unhappiness in her marriage with my father.

Bway on August 22, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Was in Cooperstown the other day, and went into the Souvenir store that is now in the theater. I just added a photo of the Proscenium, and it’s the only interior feature I could find still intact in the theater. They built sort of a second floor in front of what was once the stage and Proscenium. Out front however, interestingly, they use the old box office for an ice cream stand window.

cmbussmann on January 29, 2016 at 11:45 am

The New York State Historical Association Library in Cooperstown is hosting a small exhibit detailing Smalley’s history in Cooperstown; they also house the theatre’s archive (1921-1955 only). I took several pictures and added them here.

cmbussmann on April 16, 2012 at 7:54 am

I saw many movies here before it closed in November, 1987. I was young and impressionable then, just a kid learning to love film. This place had a huge influence on me. I remember seeing E.T., Return Of The Jedi, Harry & The Hendersons, The Aristocats, Transformers: The Movie, The Great Mouse Detective, and Pinocchio. I also recall posters for Predator and The Black Cauldron. And even though it was technically called “The Cooperstown Theater,” everyone in town still called it “Smalley’s.”

The theater’s closure in ‘87 was a huge loss to the community but it just couldn’t compete with the mall theater in Oneonta in terms of new releases. As well, the first video stores were starting to open so the writing was on the wall, I guess. The son of the last owner still projected films from time-to-time in our High School afterward. I remember attending a screening of “The Soldier Of Orange” that he held at a local church.

The marquee is still there, lit up at night, though it is starting to look old and a little run-down. It’s a shame the Baseball Hall Of Fame didn’t step in and save it, use it to run baseball films or something, instead of turning it into another tourist trap souvenir stand.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on July 29, 2010 at 3:49 am

I was just in Cooperstown this week. They hardly roll up the sidewalks. Up until 9:00 p.m. and even later most of the stores were still open and there were people all over downtown. The theatre looks great on the outside, but has been gutted on the inside. The auditorium is a baseball memorabilia shop and the stage house is apartments. The proscenium visible inside the back room is the only interior remnant of the theatre.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on July 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm

From the 1930s a view of Smalley’s Theatre in Cooperstown.

TLSLOEWS on February 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Cool photo Lost Memory.

MarkieS on October 9, 2007 at 7:13 am

I was just in Cooperstown last wek. This town is deadsville! They roll up the sidewalks at 5pm.

DonRosen on July 7, 2006 at 3:09 am

I visited Cooperstown in 1963 when I was 9 years old. The night we arrived it was raining, so my parents took me to see Haley Mills in “Summer Magic”. It might have been this theatre.

drgitlow on November 20, 2005 at 7:13 pm

Yes, the Cooperstown Theater was the same as Smalley’s Theatre. I was in Cooperstown from 1970-77; the theater was one of the Main Street activities available. With two showings each evening, the theater had a main seating area on the first floor and a balcony that was closed for the entire time I was there. The stage looked as if it had originally been constructed for stage shows. I have quite a few schedule brochures from the theater. The loss was a tragic one for the town, which has in the years since lost just about everything from Main Street except for the omnipresent baseball souvenir shops. A pity.

jeffreyt on September 17, 2005 at 5:44 am

This theatre is very close to the Hall of Fame stadium. There’s a video rental store in the side of the auditorium. It still has “Smalley’s Theatre” on the back/stage wall.

NittyRanks on September 4, 2005 at 7:43 am

I wonder if this is the one that has a baseball type shop in there? I played a gig with my band and was driving by it last night.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on October 13, 2004 at 7:46 pm

I think this theatre was at one time also called the Cooperstown Theatre. I’ve looked at my various CINERAMA Theatre lists and do not see this theatre listed.