Plattsburgh Theater Restored to Its Former Glory

By Kristen Tripodi , Christine Souders |

Published 07/12 2014 07:55PM

Updated 07/14 2014 01:04PM

PLATTSBURGH, NY- It's been a staple in downtown Plattsburgh for decades, and now the Strand Center for the Arts is making a come back after a $3.5 million dollar makeover.

The theater has been standing on Brinkerhoff Street in 90 years.

"The theater was orginally opened in 1924. It was a vaudville theater, " said Jessice Dulle, Executive Director of the Strand Center for the Arts.

The theater adapted with the changing times, eventually showing silent films, then stage performances and finally digital movies.

But over the years, the inside of the theater began to show it's age.

"This building could have been like so many other theaters around the country where it could have just been used as another building, perhaps a parking lot, " said Dulle.

It didn't, and the Dulle said they purchased the theater about ten years ago in hopes to restore it.

Along the way the community stepped up to help.

"The community really came together and saw the economic value that the theater had. As well as just being an anchor for cultural diversity in the community," Dulle said.

She added in the last decade more than $3.5 million dollars were raised to restore the theater.

"It is kind of a mixture of public funding as well as private support. But the majority of it is actually coming from private support."

Dulle said that money has helped build a new roof, restore the stage, build a new chandellier and purchase 958 theater seats.

However, they still need to raise about $500,000 dollars to complete the entire project.

"With that,  that's going to be getting our rigging system in place, that's our sound, that's our lights and our concession area together," Dulle said.

The theater still needs more work , but the Strand is open for business.

"We are bringing in in august a contemporary ballet," she said.

As early as next year, the Strand will offer a full season of entertainment  on the stage.

In November, the Strand Center for the Arts is hosting the Inaugural Lake Champlain International Film Festival.

Artists have submitted entries from all over the world.

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