If you're like me and grew up going to the historic Oneonta Theatre to see movies, then chances are you have a nostalgic place in your heart for the old theatre and would love to see it come back to life and even thrive again. If that's the case, I have some news to share about the current status of the closed-down theatre on Chestnut Street but for those who would enjoy a brief recap of its ownership history within the last 50 years...

Back in 2009, Tom Cormier bought the theatre from Terry Mattison who could no longer keep the doors to the theatre open. So he passed the ownership torch to Cormier who promised to utilize it as a theatre instead of turning it into something completely different. Thousands of dollars later with significant renovations done, the theater was reopened as an entertainment venue.

In 2008, the year prior to Cormier purchasing the building, Friends of the Oneonta Theatre (FOTOT) was formed as a 5013C non-profit to support the theatre. Later on, after Tom Cormier announced that he had to close the theatre because it just wasn't viable as a business, the group stepped with the intention of trying to reopen it as soon as possible.

Bob Brzozowski, a member of the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre, talked to us here at Townsquare Media Oneonta very recently, giving us an update on what's next for the historic theatre. Brzozowski says that the theatre is still in pretty good shape since its last closing and the group is getting moving toward purchasing the building with the intent of reopening it and bringing it back as a community venue for multiple types of entertainment and uses. FOTOT doesn't have all the money for the purchase of the old theatre yet but hopes to soon as fundraising efforts continue.

Thanks to some grant money, FOTOT was able to have a study done on the feasibility/sustainability of the Oneonta Theatre to determine if it made sense to try to save it and reopen it. The study consisted of two parts: an architectural review and restoration study, including detailed cost estimates; and a business plan study to determine the operational costs of running the theatre once it is restored. To see the results of that feasibility study click here.

Brzozowski says, there is a lot to do yet with money to raise to realize the reopening dream and he invites anyone who has a soft spot in their heart for this historic theatre and would like to see it reopen for use again, to please donate HERE.

The Theatre was a busy venue for many years with a wide variety of community group performances, movies, professional music artists, and more Credit: Friends of the Oneonta Theatre, facebook
The Theatre was a busy venue for many years with a wide variety of community group performances, movies, professional music artists, and more
Credit: Friends of the Oneonta Theatre, facebook
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Find out everything you need to know about the history of the Oneonta Theatre and plans to reignite it as an entertainment venue through FOTOT, and more online at oneontatheatre.org or on the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre facebook page.

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