cover Cohoes

FOCUS ON 2013 CONCLAVE: Cohoes Music Hall; Cohoes, NY

Our sixth venue visit on 2013′s Conclave Theatre Tour will be to:
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58 Remsen Street, Cohoes, N.Y.
OPENED: November 23, 1874
STYLE: Italian Renaissance

The Cohoes Music Hall occupied the second and third floor of a bank building in Cohoes, across the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers from the City of Troy. It hosted a who’s who of vaudeville stars in its heyday. Eva Tanguay (a local girl making her stage debut), Elsie Janis, the Marx Brothers, Buffalo Bill, John L. Sullivan, Lillian Russell, the Four Cohans, Eddie Foy, Jimmy Durante, and Houdini all appeared on its stage.

Between 1874 and 1897, people paid a quarter for a gallery seat. The most expensive ticket was one dollar for a seat in the boxes. Orchestra seats were seventy-five cents. The theatre originally sat around 1,000 patrons. The auditorium was surrounded by “museums,” a term that today would mean sideshows. These included the famed General Tom Thumb.

The theatre was remodeled in 1897, the floor of the auditorium was lowered, a ceiling was built over the stage and the hall was used for community purposes such as dances, travelogs, magic lantern shows, puppet shows, and temperance lectures. The last event at the theatre was a dance given by the Cohoes local of the Team Drivers Union in 1905. The theatre closed in 1905 after the collapse of roof supports. The doors were locked, the windows boarded up and the upper floors were sealed.

The downstairs bank remained open until around 1970. After seventy years, the theatre was scheduled to reopen on November 23, 1974, one hundred years after the theatre opened. But after a short postponement, on March 8th, 1975, the first new show was presented on its stage. Since 2002, the hall has been the home of C-R Productions, who put on shows seasonally.

A charming town music hall, which continues to serve its community.

Register for the 2013 Conclave Theatre Tour online.

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