Historical Albany theatre gets facelift, set to reopen - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Historical Albany theatre gets facelift, set to reopen


ALBANY, N.Y. -- An Albany landmark is getting a facelift that will hopefully bring new life to a neighborhood overjoyed to see it opened again. 

The Madison Theatre is expected to reopen by Halloween, and crews have been working late into the night to have it ready.

The theatre's doors first opened in the 1920's, and showed silent films.  Since its heyday it's gone through many owners and fallen into disrepair – but now it's just days away from a new look. 

"Been to many, many movies here," said Lorenz Worden, a co-founder of Friends of the Madison Theatre group.

The group rallied to save the theatre from being torn down in 2004, and turned into a pharmacy.

"We did not feel that, that was what we wanted to have in our neighborhood and we did not want to lose the theatre," he said.

About a year ago Darren Grout, owner of Tierra Coffee Roasters, had the idea to renovate the old showplace.

"The support has been huge, but this building could have gone the other direction," said Grout.

But grout and his co-owner have been determined to not let that happen.  They're redoing the interior, but keeping the vintage 20s art deco charm since it's the only theatre in the area like it.  

"This will be a big theatre experience, we got the picture, we got the sound, we got the seats," he said.

"The terracotta roof, the pressed metal, the window frames are surrounded in bronze, this is plate glass," he said while touring the building.

Worden has lived in the neighborhood since the 70s. 

"I have children who went here," he added.

He, like others in Albany, couldn't be more thrilled to see the doors open again.

Once open, the theatre will showcase theme weeks like Kung Fu week or Star Trek week.  It'll also have much lower prices than other area theatres -- including at the concession stand. 

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