Crandell Theatre, the nearly 100-year-old movie house in Chatham, New York, reopens July 1-4, 2021, with a new program format and thorough cleaning following the 15-month closing caused by the COVID virus. Each week eight screenings of four curated commercial and independent films are shown from Thursday through Sunday. The sale of concessions is delayed until the theatre is able to accommodate health requirements. Tickets are sold on line at the Crandell website, crandelltheatre.org, and at the box office. Admission is $8 members, $9 nonmembers, and $7 for children 12 and under.
A festive reopening is planned for the first weekend. On Saturday evening and Sunday, July 3-4, the featured film is The Climb, produced by Noah Lang, who has family ties to Columbia County. Directed by Michael Angelo Covino, the film was recognized at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019 and features a cameo appearance by the Crandell Theatre. Lang will participate in a Q&A after the Saturday evening screening.
According to Lydia Kukoff, president of the Crandell Theatre board of directors, “After this long closing, we are doing all that we can to make the return to the big screen of the Crandell a memorable experience. We’ve followed members’ survey advice concerning priorities for air filtration and ventilation and we’ve done a thorough cleaning. Masks will be required and our ticketing system provides for distance seating. As we learn more, we’ll make changes but, most importantly, we want film goers to again feel comfortable at the Crandell.”
The Crandell Theatre opened in 1926 as a venue for traveling vaudeville shows and silent movies. Built in the Spanish Renaissance style, the building has been largely unchanged. With over 500 seats, the Crandell is one of the few single-screen movie theatres in the country. The Crandell’s highly regarded festival, FilmColumbia, now in its 21st year, has been recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals” in the world. In March 2021 the board announced a capital campaign to complete the renovation of the theatre.
Crandell Theatre is a not-for profit organization dedicated to enriching the cultural vitality of the region through film programming that challenges, inspires, educates, and entertains. The theatre is supported by ticket sales and earned revenue, contributions of members and friends, and private and public grants, including the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. In 2017 the Crandell Theatre was listed on the federal and state registers of historic places. For information, call (518) 392-3445.