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Upstate Films in talks to buy Saugerties theater

May 06, 2021 2:15 pm

William J. Kemble is reporting for the Daily Freeman Upstate Films is in talks to buy the Orpheum Theatre in the village of Saugerties. Jason Silverman, one of Upstate's two new executive directors, said on May 5, that discussions are in progress, but he would not elaborate. Orpheum owner Thomas Thornton said a deal could be reached within days. “We might have a contract by the end of the week,” he said. Silverman was hesitant to provide details. “There are so many things that could kill this deal,” he said. The three-screen movie house at 156 Main Street has been on the market for about two years with an asking price of $795,000. The Orpheum opened in 1919 as a vaudeville and silent movie theater, and it has been owned and run by the Thornton family ever since. It is the last in a string of theaters owned by his family, Thornton said. “I had a drive-in in Saratoga, one in Bennington, Vermont, one in Greenville. I had theaters in Tannersville, Windham, Hunter ... [and] Schenectady,” he said. “This is the last one.” Rhinebeck-based Upstate Films has a two-screen theater there. It announced last month that it would stop showing movies in Woodstock, where it had been leasing the one-screen theater known as the Tinker Street Cinema since 2010. Silverman and Paul Sturtz were chosen as co-executive directors of Upstate Films in February. They succeeded founders Steve and DeDe Leiber, who retired in December. Upstate shows primarily independent, foreign and arthouse-style films, as well as hosting special events. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.