30 Upper Main Street,
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Callicoon Theater (Official)
Previously operated by: Hardin Theatres
Firms: Lacy & Son
Functions: Movies (Second Run)
Styles: Quonset Hut
Previous Names: Harden Theatre, Arden Theatre
The Callicoon Theater is the oldest continuously operated cinema in Sullivan County, New York.
Built as the Harden Theatre by local lumber yard owner Fred Stark in 1948 in a modified Quonset hut design with laminated arched wood beams, the theater originally held 514 seats. Stark built several other theaters in the region, but the only one still in operation is the one in Callicoon, which also had the largest capacity. The Harden Theatre opened on July 8, 1948 with Peggy Cummins in “Green Grass of Wyoming”. It was operated by the Hardin Theatre chain until 1964.
For several years the theatres were rented; then they were sold. Residents and vacationers from the area’s many boarding houses and resorts filled the seats.
By the 1980’s, attendance was declining; the theater was seasonal. In 1986, the theater was purchased by the current owners. Dolby Digital audio and Xenon projection, more comfortable seating and broader concession offerings were introduced. Air conditioning replaced forced air cooling. But the theater’s historic architectural and interior “country” integrity were retained.
The Callicoon Theater is open year-‘round and, in addition to “move-over” films, with the local arts association sponsors a monthly CineArt film series, while maintaining the lowest admission prices in the region.
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