Members and followers of local landmark The Art Mission Theatre received a disappointing newsletter today informing them of the upcoming closing. The message read:
It is with great sadness that we must inform our patrons that the Art Mission and Theater will be closing as of Friday 12/29/2017. After much thought regarding the organization's financial position and the current film viewing climate the board of directors has voted to proceed with dissolution.
The Art Mission and Theater has always been an organization that purely ran on love. We are truly grateful to the movie lovers of the Binghamton area for the support of independent film.
There will be a final screenings of National Theatre Live's Follies, a Stephen Sondheim musical on Thursday 12/28 and Friday 12/29 at 7PM.
Pricing is $15, $10 Members and Students.
According the their website, The Art Mission Theatre has a long and storied history here in the Southern Tier. The original Art Mission Gallery was located 128 Washington St. in the heart of downtown Binghamton. The Art Mission was founded by Maggie Martin and opened as a 501 (c) non-profit gallery on NewYear’s Eve, 1998, with an exhibition in cooperation with First Night Binghamton. The Art Theatre was located on the Southside on Vestal Avenue. Always a movie house, it underwent an unseemly “adult” period until it was purchased in the 1980’s by a Binghamton University cinema graduate, Richard Kruce, and became mainly an independent theater.
In 2004, the Art Theatre was destroyed by a devastating fire. Shortly thereafter, it was decided to combine the Art Mission Gallery and Art Theatre into one building, and in 2007, they moved to their current location at 61 Prospect St.
Reaction on social media has already begun with many expressing great disappointment.