Binghamton, NY theater named to endangered list

posted by CSWalczak on February 15, 2010 at 7:41 am

BINGHAMTON, NY — The Stone Opera House, which opened in 1892 and which operated as a movie house from 1930 to 1978 as the Riviera Theatre, has been named to the annual list of most endangered historic resources by the Preservation League of New York State. The inclusion of the theater on the list will permit the League to work with local officials and other agencies in the effort to restore and reuse the theater.

As movie theater crowds diminished with the growing popularity of television, Binghamton’s theaters closed, many to be torn down. The Stone Opera House shut its doors in 1978. While the ground floor commercial space has been occupied sporadically, the theater has been largely vacant for three decades.

“Seven to Save designation has a proven record of mobilizing community leaders and decision-makers to take action when historic resources are threatened,” said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. “Through this program, we provide targeted support to seven of New York’s most important and endangered historic resources, which are threatened by insensitive, ineffective or insufficient public policies, general neglect, and, in some cases, outright demolition.”

The Preservation League will help municipal and non-profit leaders seek an appropriate and sustainable reuse for the Stone Opera House, which could boost Binghamton’s ongoing downtown revitalization efforts.

There is more at Newschannel 34.

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