36 S. Main Street,
Perry, NY 14530

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Schine Circuit Inc.

Styles: Colonial Revival, Neo-Georgian

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The Auditorium was opened on September 17, 1909 with the play “Human Hearts”. It was listed in the 1914-1915 edition of American Motion Picture Directory. By 1941, it was operated by the Schine Circuit. It was closed as a movie theatre in April 1968. In 1969 it was taken over by the YMCA and went back to live theatre use, with occasional movies. It suffered some damage by a fire on January 28, 1983. The building still exists today.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

The Perry Auditorium is located in Perry Town Hall, 22 S. Main Street. It is a two story red brick building of vaguely Georgian Colonial Revival style. The auditorium is on the ground floor, and an assembly room used for dances and other community events is upstairs. The post office was also originally in the building.

A vintage postcard of the Town Hall will briefly display on this page of the Town’s web site (just refresh the page if the picture goes away.)

A book called History of the Town of Perry, published in 1915, says that the Town Hall was built in 1898, and even though the building was not yet completed, a local amateur stage production of a comedy called The Henrietta was presented there on the nights of December 30 and 31 that year.

The Auditorium at Perry advertised in the December 5, 1908, issue of The Billboard that it was seeking attractions, and boasted that Perry was “…the best show town in Western New York.” The promoter doing the soliciting was George H. Holmes, who gave as an address a PO box in Hornell, NY.

A 1966 issue of Motion Picture Herald published this notice: “Philip Scoville of Geneseo, who operates theatres in Olean, LeRoy, and Lima, NY, and Frank R. Versage, of Mt. Morris, have re-opened the Auditorium Theatre in Perry, NY.” I’ve been unable to discover how long this operation was able to continue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

A correction on the address I gave in my previous comment: 22 S. Main Street is actually the location of a bank. The Town Hall was apparently at 32 S. Main.

I’ve come across a document which says that the old Perry Town Hall was destroyed by a fire in 1983, and its site is now occupied by a parking lot. The building had been listed on the NRHP.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Further correction: The correct address of the Auditorium might have been 36 S. Main. I can’t find the actual address anywhere on the Internet, but a 1964 photo in this PDF (a very large file) shows the block and singles out the building next door as having the address 34 S. Main. I think the Town Hall/Auditorium’s address must have been higher rather than lower, but I’m not positive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

OK, the PDF I linked to has a map showing the address of the parcel on which the Town Hall was located as 36-38 S.Main Street. The post office was probably at 38 and the Auditorium at 36.

50sSNIPES on November 23, 2023 at 3:51 am

The Auditorium Theatre, which opened on September 17, 1909 with the play “Human Hearts”, did receive too much trouble from the mid-1950s until the late-1960s due to its multiple ups-and-downs, which results many closures and reopenings.

From 1956 until 1967, the theater received multiple closures. Some of those closures include a short July 9, 1956 closure and a one-month closure in August 1959. The Auditorium was once closed in 1964 which reopened on July 10 that same year, and was closed again on January 1, 1966 for a full year.

After closing for the final time as a movie house in April 1968, the Auditorium went vacant for the fifth straight time in the previous 12 years. This lasted until the YMCA group took over the theater and reopening it in November 1969 as a primary performing arts house but sometimes bring movies as well.

The YMCA operated the Auditorium Theatre until it suffered partial fire damage from a fire that first started at the city hall on January 28, 1983.

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