Just last month, the owner announced he would be closing the theatre's doors because of financial issues, but that may not be the case anymore. The Oneonta Theatre owner is teaming up with an area non-profit to keep the theatre up and running. The Friends Of The Oneonta Theatre group say they're eager and excited to take over this historic venue.
"Theatres generally don't make any money. When you are in a small theatre like this, and the numbers of seats, the ticket sales generally go to the bands who are there and very little is left to the theatre," says Tom Cormier, owner of the Oneonta Theatre.
Cormier bought the Oneonta Theatre 2 years ago and hasn't been seeing a profit. But he didn't want to say goodbye just yet; that's where the non-profit group comes in.
"What we're trying to create is a partnership that makes its the community living room and makes it available for all group to use, rent, or brings shows into," says Cormier.
"And our non-profit organization Friends Of The Oneonta Theatre has been ready and waiting for this collaboration to take it to that next step," says Patrice Macaluso, president of Friends Of The Oneonta Theatre group.
And some say the Oneonta Theatre is more than just a historic building; it also holds hundreds of memories.
"There was a little door to one side and we stepped through that door and it was like I was in 1917; it was a vaudeville house," says Macaluso.
Macaluso is the president of the non-profit, and she says she fell in love with the theatre since the first time she was inside.
"There's flyers and pieces of paper from shows from 1913. We keep turning up all these little artifacts of the history of popular culture in Oneonta that goes back beyond a century ago," says Macaluso.
And appreciation for the theatre transcends ages.
"To give back to these citizens that have much deeper roots; who would go when they were my age and to have that piece of history as a current student now and an alumni later on," says Chris Grubb, SUNY Oneonta student & Oneonta Theatre patron.
Both parties say they're excited for the future.
"It'll be exciting just to simply keep it on it's feet again," says Grubb.
"There's very few gems like this left standing. And I think between the artists enjoying it and the patrons enjoying it, I think there's a chance for this place to survive another 100 years or so," says Cormier.
The Friends Of The Oneonta Theatre group and theatre owner will be holding a public meeting and discussion this Sunday from 2 to 4 at the Oneonta Theatre. They encourage the entire community to attend.