The Crandell Theatre is located in the Village of Chatham, NY and is Columbia County’s oldest and largest movie theatre. The Crandell was built by Walter S. Crandell, a Chatham native and local banker. Considered an architectural gem, the theater was constructed in Spanish Renaissance style and remains largely unchanged since it opened on Christmas Day, 1926, with a Jules Verne photoplay. It’s the oldest theater in Columbia County, with a seating capacity of 534. it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.
Constructed on the site of a house formerly owned by the Crandell family, the pink brick and stucco theater was built at a cost of $100,000 pre-Depression dollars. It was envisioned as a venue for traveling vaudeville shows and silent pictures. However, in recognition of the growing importance of talking movies after “The Jazz Singer” was released in 1927, the theater installed talking and sound-making equipment in 1929.
The Crandell has been in continuous operation for 83 years. For nearly 50 of those years it has been associated with the Quirino family. Anthony Quirino purchased the Crandell in 1960, and the theater was owned and operated by his son, Tony until his death in 2010. It is now owned and operated by The Chatham Film Club, a volunteer, not-for-profit organization committed to bringing art, independent, and foreign film to Columbia County.
The Crandell Theater specializes in both first run and second run movies, family-oriented movies and also hosts many community events.
The Crandell includes a one-story, 4,500-square-foot (420 m2) double-height theater auditorium with a balcony, a two-story southern section, with 1,100 square feet (100 m2) of floor space a one-story, 945-square-foot (87.8 m2) double-height stage two rental spaces on the street level, and three rental offices on the second floor.
It has many unique features not found in today's movie houses like a full 26-foot (7.9 m) wide and 13-foot (4.0 m) deep stage with dressing rooms, a 112-seat balcony, an orchestra pit, and organ lofts on each side of the stage.
The Crandell Theatre is the main venue for the FilmColumbia Festival, an annual 5-day film festival held every October.
The Crandell also hosts Farm Film Fest, a day of film about local farming in Columbia County, NY sponsored by The Chatham Agricultural Partnership, The Chatham Film Club, and The Columbia Land Conservancy Programming Committee.
- http://www.registerstar.com/articles/2010/06/03/chatham_courier/news/doc4c06910c59911699626079.txt[permanent dead link]
- http://www.registerstar.com/articles/2010/07/03/news/doc4c2eb167be3a8650907534.txt[permanent dead link]