Macaluso praised Cormier’s rescue of the building from water damages, including mildew, and work to restore and improve the building. FOTOT members were disappointed when Cormier took over restoration efforts, she said, but is eager at this juncture to do the research and continue networking to create a not-for-profit organization that can operate the theater.
The development requires consideration of programming, hospitality, cleaning, fund-raising and other categories of operations and management, according to a organizational diagram she presented.
“At this point, we want the community to engage,’’ Patrice Macaluso, president of the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre board, told listeners seated in the theater during introductory remarks.
FOTOT and the Oneonta Theatre remain separate organizations, Macaluso said. Another key step is a study to help transform the vision into reality and gain a better sense by fall of how to use the theater.
Cormier and Macaluso, interviewed separately, described the evolving collaboration as a “win/win’’ opportunity.
Events are planned for the theater in February and March, Cormier said. In five years, he would like to see FOTOT as a solid organization that operates the theater with fine-tuning under way to make improvements, he said.
Oneonta has held its own during the recession, Cormier said, and Oneonta’s location, its college communities and development on Southside are factors supporting its economic transition and potential for growth.