The city says it is the fourth-oldest operating performance venue in the nation. Now, a partnership between the Cohoes Music Hall and the Palace Theatre in Albany is seeking to breathe new life into the building.
The City of Cohoes welcomed its new partnership with Albany’s Palace Theatre with a song on Wednesday. The preserved Cohoes Music Hall boasts painted woodwork and fine acoustics. The space, opened in 1874 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has seen its ups and downs in the old mill city.
In the 19th century, the building also held a post office, retail stores, and offices until it was first closed in 1905.
Over the years, the likes of John Philip Sousa, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Jimmy Durante came through town.
The city purchased the building in 1969 for one dollar, and after an extensive restoration, it was reopened in 1974. Last year, Cohoes completed $30,000 in improvements on the property.
Now, with the Palace set to manage the venue for the next three years, Mayor Shawn Morse says it’s the most exciting time for the city since the building was opened.
“The Palace is going to bring 40,000 people to our downtown. Our restaurants, our bars are going to be filled with people from all over. And Cohoes is going to be a destination. Not an old mill town, not the old city of Cohoes, but the new, vibrant city of Cohoes, place that people are going to talk about and say, ‘Tonight, we’re going to Cohoes,’” said Morse.
The Palace is stepping in to manage the building after four years of expanded offerings and a reversal of six years of deficits in downtown Albany. Palace Theater Executive Director Holly Brown…
“We’ve seen and I’ve seen how much the increased programming has impacted downtown Albany at the Palace and I know the same thing can happen here. It’s great to see,” said Brown.
The Palace hopes to host 60 events in its first year at the Cohoes Music Hall, with plans to double that number after that. The Palace expects to bring in comedy shows, children’s programs, films, and concerts. The organization also plans to host programs through its partner organizations, Park Playhouse and the Albany Symphony.
Owen Smith, Palace Theatre Managing Director and Park Playhouse Producing Artistic Director, is excited about the new opportunities afforded by the partnership.
“Obviously our summer productions can only happen in the months of July and August, but there’s so much talent locally that we’ve worked with and had these great experiences in the summer, we want to engage that talent all year round.”
The Palace Theatre will begin managing the Cohoes Music Hall in late summer.
For more information visit: http://palacealbany.com/