A breath of life for an old Albany theater - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

A breath of life for an old Albany theater

December 30, 2004

Albany - After sitting vacant for about 30 years, the old state theater in downtown Albany is alive again. Businessman Sandy Farkas, his nephew Lane Rosen, and Harvest Moon owner Bo Henry bought and renovated the condemned theater. Now, they hope to start new memories inside the old landmark.

For three decades years, the once vibrant State Theater on Pine Avenue slowly dilapidated. "It needed serious renovation. It was condemned because it was just that bad," said theater manager Tracy Atwood. But, the building's condition was not too bad to stop for three men from see the possibility of success.

Theater Manager Tracy Atwood says Bo Henry, Sandy Farkas, and Lane Rosen knew it would take a lot of work and money to breathe life back into the theater, built in 1942. "The stage was in complete ruins. It was terrible.," said Atwood. "We took this floor which was one level and made it three different levels. We redid the balcony so we have more seating and a VIP section up there."

Four months and about a half-million dollars later, "It's amazing from where we came to here. It's a big change." A change many people welcomed for the downtown landmark. "We have so many people who have walked down the street and popped in to say 'Oh, I remember when The Blob played here.' So many people have stopped by and told me the stories of this theater. So, it's interest to have that history and be able to say now that we never though we would see this place open again," said Atwood.

Opening night is just a day away. The theater's first event is a New Year's Eve celebration with music, champagne, and fun, so a new generation can make memories in the historic state theater.

The New Year's Celebration gets underway at 7:30PM December 31st at the State Theater. It cost $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

Posted at 3:10PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com