Chatham Crandell Theatre Marquee

A Note On Reopening the Crandell

To Our Crandell Community:

As guidelines continue to evolve around the persistent health crisis, we want to update you about some of the issues on our minds as we work toward the eventual reopening of the Crandell Theatre.

Last week, the state of New York issued a new series of guidelines regarding which businesses would be eligible for the fourth (and final) phase of reopening, set to begin as early as this week. In an unexpected turn, movie theaters are not among the businesses that have been given the green-light to resume operations. The state hasn’t made it clear when we can anticipate further operating guidelines.

 Three Criteria for Reopening:

  • Governmental approval
  • Safe operations for our patrons, staff and volunteers
  • Fiscal responsibility

We are confident that we will be able to enact policies that ensure a healthy viewing experience as soon as New York State allows. The financial barriers remain less certain.

The Financial Picture

Thanks to the generosity of our community, the Crandell maintains a strong financial foundation. Though we operate as a non-profit, a fully-functioning theater relies on a certain number of patrons per week in order to break even. In the uncertainty of the pandemic, many film distributors have delayed their best titles well into the fall, winter and even into next year. By opening too early, with inferior movies and at reduced capacity, we risk losing more money to operating costs than we would if we remained closed.

In The Meantime

Since our closure on March 16, the Crandell’s staff and board have kept busy planning and preparing for how our theater will evolve when the time is right to reopen — exploring changes in the number of screenings per week, expanding the variety of films we offer, as well as new ways of engaging all segments of our audience, with the help of our newly-created Community Programming Committee. Our ultimate goal, of course, is to reopen our beloved movie house. In the coming weeks, we plan to open this dialogue to Crandell members, as well as the community at large. We are eager to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, please feel free to write us at:

We Appreciate Your Support

We would not even be having this conversation without the ongoing support of our members and donors. The general response to the membership renewal effort and your contributions help stabilize our finances at a critical moment. Your generosity is sustaining the Crandell through this extended closure.

The Crandell has always been such an important presence in our community, and we are doing our very best to make it all that it can be, for years to come.

Stay safe,

Lydia Kukoff

President, Crandell Theatre Board of Directors