COHOES — A walk down Remsen Street is an introduction to the mill city’s past. Distant past. Vacant storefronts, some of which continue to hold on to the signage that once held relevance to the shops that were last there. But, speak with Mayor Shawn Morse, he’s nothing but excited.
“They’re all coming back,” he said, from inside the Cohoes Music Hall, minutes after a joint press conference with The Palace Performing Arts Center that announced new programming and initiatives for the upcoming 2016-17 season. “And, it starts right here.”
Palace Theatre Executive Director Holly Brown presented an ambitious line-up of productions Thursday, July 27, with name recognition and with various interests, both for family and parents. Shows include Disney’s Peter Pan, Jr., Adams Family, Godspell, Rent and more.
Thursdays press conference was also an unveiling of Cohoes Music Hall’s partnership with the Albany Palace Theatre.
“We are thrilled to welcome this beautiful theatre into the Palace family,” said Brown. “Today’s announcement is just a taste f what’s to come at the Music Hall. There are even more events in the works that will be announced throughout the season.
Over the course of the partnership’s first year, the Palace anticipates as many as 60 events at the Cohoes Music Hall. And, over the next three years, that number is planned to double.
“The Cohoes Music Hall is a staple of our community,” said Morse. “And, finally, after many years of being dark, the Cohoes Music Hall will explode with excitement. That partnership with the Palace has far exceeded my wildest expectations. Cohoes residents will now have the opportunity to see the full potential of the fourth oldest active music hall in the country.”
Cohoes Music Hall first opened in 1874. A walk through its doors reveals much of the Victorian Age charm remains today. However, its life as an entertainment venue was relatively brief when the National Bank of Cohoes closed the theatre after purchasing the building in 1905. The theatre reopened in 1974 once the city purchased the building and conducted a full renovation. Renovation efforts have limited the use of the theatre in recent years, too.
“The downtown will be packed with visitors,” said the city mayor, “filing our local restaurants and other establishments. It’s an exciting time for Cohoes and all our visitors.”
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.