Seneca Theatre

32 Fall Street,
Seneca Falls, NY 13148

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Schine Circuit Inc.

Functions: Museum

Previous Names: Fornesi Theatre

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Seneca Theatre

Charles Fornesi built the Seneca Theatre in 1913. It was Seneca Falls' first movie house. By the 1930’s, the Seneca Theatre had been taken over by the Schine Circuit, which kept the house closed, threatening to open it only when an independent operator announced plans to build a new theater to compete with Schine’s Strand Theatre. The new theater was never built, and the Seneca remained closed.

Eventually the building was converted for other uses. For some years it has been the home of the IDEA Center for the Voices of Humanity. Since 2010 the space has been shared by the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum, commemorating Frank Capra’s 1946 film which was set in a town called Bedford Falls. Many citizens of Seneca Falls believe that their town was Capra’s model for Bedford Falls.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 10, 2012 at 10:26 am

A picture of the entrance to the former Seneca Theatre can be seen on this page of the web site of the IDEA Center.

The Real Bedford Falls is the web site of the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum, located in the former Seneca Theatre.

Patsy on November 24, 2020 at 6:38 pm

Plan to travel to Seneca Falls during the holidays. Interesting to learn the IAWL museum is in the former Seneca Theatre.

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