Citilyne Theater

344 Main Street,
Binghamton, NY 13905

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Citiline Theater, Cityline Theater

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Citilyne Theatre building

Erected almost in the shadow of the Johnson City arch, on the north side of Main Street opposite Floral Avenue, the Citilyne Theatre (variously mangled, even in its own advertisements, as Citiline, City Line or Cityline) was opened in June 1918. The name of the house was determined by contest, with a Mrs. F.E. Carr winning a $5 prize for the winning entry. The theatre was run by William Mack more or less in tandem with the Endwell Theatre in Johnson City.

The Citilyne underwent a remodeling in 1921 (as did the Endwell Theater and the Goodwill Theater, both shutting down for several months under Mack’s aegis), and continued to operate until 1930, most likely another casualty of the conversion to talkies. Rather like the Peoples' Theatre downtown, the Citilyne Theater appears to have been converted into a nightclub, the “Beverly Gardens” for a few years, continuing until around 1934.

As late as the 1980’s, an apartment building on this block displayed an unusual nickelodeon-style arch entrance arrayed with stars. Whether this was the site of the Citilyne Theater or not is not known, but the arch entranceway in question is no longer evident on any of the buildings that remain. The theater building most likely has been demolished.

Contributed by Adam Marsland

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

adamghost on August 25, 2016 at 3:30 am

Some new information about the Citilyne.

There is an advertisement in the November 6, 1929 Binghamton Press that offers in the “Real Estate For Sale” section a theatre block at 344 Main St. “450 seats, full equipment, what have you to trade?” J.H. Bedell was the offering party. There is another 1928 item in the press indicating that the 344 Main St. block was a three story building. There are references to restaurants in the block from the 1940s, continuing into the mid ‘80s.

Old aerial photographs show a complex of buildings next to the current Key Bank (340 Main) that disappeared between 2002 and 2006, with the one closest to the bank about the dimensions of a theater.

There are old photos of the arch, which was a stone’s throw from the theater, but unfortunately they all face the arch, pointing away from the location of the building.

adamghost on August 25, 2016 at 3:31 am

Sorry, should not have said “Key Bank” above.

adamghost on April 19, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I finally found a photograph of the arch from the Johnson City side that shows the building that stood where at 344 Main Street before it was demolished. It can be seen here:

Unfortunately both this building (which is indeed three stories but very wide) and the still-standing one next to Lane’s both are sporting awnings in this photo so I cannot see which one had the stars and arch entryway I remember seeing in the 1980s (both have visible gaps in the window construction to allow for one). There’s nothing about either building to indicate that there may have been a theater in them though they appear to be the correct vintage.

Would live to find a photo of the Citilyne.

adamghost on September 20, 2019 at 2:36 am

According to Bob Bullock on the “Historic Binghamton” FB group, the Citilyne occupied the same space as Fitzie’s Irish Pub, and the building was torn down in 2001. (It is not the same one I observed on that block in the ‘80s with the starred archway) He also provided the photo shown here.

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