Clemens Center

207 Clemens Center Parkway,
Elmira, NY 14901

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Related Websites

Clemens Center (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Dipson Circuit, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Michael J. DeAngelis, Leon H. Lempert, Sr.

Functions: Performing Arts

Previous Names: Keeney's Theater, Elmira Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Clemens Center Powers Theater interior

Originally planned to be known as the State Theater. Keeney’s Theater opened December 21, 1925 as a vaudeville and silent movie theatre, the opening movie was Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” starring Theodore Roberts. At that time it had 2,600 seats with 1,400 in the orchestra and 1,200 in the balcony. It was equipped with a Marr & Colton 4 manual 20 ranks organ which was opened by organist S.L. Stambaugh of Chicago. By 1941 it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. and had 2,362 seats.

It went under a major remodel for the Dipson chain by architect Michael J. DeAngelis, and was renamed Elmira Theatre from September 26, 1952. It was closed as a movie theatre in late-1974.

Today, known as the Clemens Center, it is a performing arts center which opened around 1977. There is a history page on the Clemens Center website with more information.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

joemasher on August 9, 2006 at 6:20 pm

When this palace closed as a movie house, it was called the Elmira Theatre and was run by the Dipson chain. They replaced it with the Elmira 1-2-3, which opened in 1977 a block away on College St, now closed. The street in front of the original theater was widened, thus the building lost its lobby building and back part of the auditorium. A new front was placed over the wound, and the house reopened as the Clemens Center. The street was renamed Clemens Center Parkway. Entrance is now at the left of the building.

Patsy on December 14, 2006 at 7:20 pm

According to Cinema Tour the Elmira Theatre architect was Michael J. Deangelis and the address was 111 College. The Elmira was remodeled around 1953 to accommodate a CinemaScope screen and new seats. If the Clemens was also known as the Elmira and the Keeney’s, then I wonder why it gives different addresses? I would love to see an exterior photo of the Clemens Center.

Patsy on December 14, 2006 at 7:23 pm

I just viewed an artist rendering of the Clemens Center and it can’t be what was called the Elmira Theatre at 111 College.

Patsy on December 21, 2006 at 10:09 am

Well, that is quite the photo and is certainly the Elmira Theater, the theater in question for so many of us! The 1950’s downtown Elmira map is neat to view, too. Thanks so very very much!

joemasher on October 14, 2007 at 5:06 pm

The latest photo is of the front of the building. The demolished the original lobby building, and cut off the very back part of the auditorium. The photo above is the new front that was put on it. The Elmira 1-2-3 on College St. is not this theater. It is a completely separate building that opened about a block away in the 1977.

rivest266 on April 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm

December 19th, 1925 opening article:

Found on

rivest266 on April 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

This reopened as the Elmira theatre on September 26th, 1952. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 14, 2021 at 2:44 am

When the December 20, 1924 issue of Moving Picture World announced that bids were about to be taken for construction of what was then to have been called the State Theatre, it said that the architect for the project was Leon H. Lempert. Frank Keeney took a long-term lease on the house before it was completed and opened it under his own name.

50sSNIPES on March 29, 2024 at 9:44 am

It was renamed the Elmira Theatre on September 26, 1952 after major remodeling. The Elmira Theatre closed as a movie house in late 1974.

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