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Local News -

February 2, 2010

New partner for Oneonta Theatre


The partnership meant this winter’s UCCCA series was bumped from the theater.

UCCCA interim director Cheri Albrecht said plans had been made through FOTOT to present its film series at the Oneonta Theatre. The films, under the sponsorship of the New York State Council on the Arts, were to be shown in 35mm, but that presentation format was lost in the change of venue, she said.

Albrecht said the switch happened just before promotions went out, and UCCCA was able to arrange for presentation at the Foothills Performing Arts Center at the same cost _ however, the films will be projected from DVDs. The series will start Feb. 12.

The Oneonta Theatre, which has unpainted walls and unfinished trim in the lobby, wasn’t ready to accommodate the film festival, the businessmen said, but the series would be welcomed in the future.

The fate of the theater became an issue last year as former owner Terry Mattison searched for a buyer of the property, which includes residential and commercial rental units.

Cormier bought the building in June for $255,000 and switched it into Oneonta Theatre LLC in September, an official at the Otsego County Office of Real Property Tax Services said Monday.

Cormier, who said improvements are a ``significant investment,’’ and FOTOT announced their lease agreement in September.

FOTOT had a business plan but not the funds to buy the building. Last week, Patrice Macaluso _ president of FOTOT _ said she appreciated the business-based reasons Cormier had to end the lease agreement with the group, but noted that nonprofit arts organizations have successfully managed theaters elsewhere.

Macaluso, who is also the chairwoman of the theater department at the State University College at Oneonta, said students and FOTOT volunteers had worked hard on projects for the Oneonta Theatre, which was opened for some band performances.

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