Latham, New York
The Starlite Theater outside Albany, NY (Bing.com aerial), was demolished in December 2012. This theater-in-the-round operated from about 1957 to 1997, according to the Business Review, which listed Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Wayne Newton, Tom Jones and Eddie Murphy as entertainers who performed there. Commenters at All Over Albany refer also to Johnny Cash, James Brown, Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, Run DMC, Kriss Kross, The Monkees, Weird Al Yankovic, and many others who performed here. The Starlite also hosted Shaker High School graduation ceremonies. The Starlite was previously known as the Colonie Musical Theater, Colonie Tent Theater, Colonie Summer Theater and Colonie Coliseum, and was not immune to the ravages of vandals and scrappers even in its heyday.
I was in the area prior to Christmas 2012 and took some last photographs before the imminent demise. I was only here once before, in the summer of 2010. The Starlite was more or less untouched then although the seats had been removed not long before. The site was still heavily overgrown and several outbuildings surrounded the main theater structure. I seem to have only posted a couple of photos from that visit to my site, and here they are.
Fortunately Sebastien Barre took a few shots pre-seat-removal to his flickr page.
Prior to this morning however, the weedy lot had been whacked and all the shrubbery was removed along with various outbuildings. Demolition machinery was parked in the upper left corner of the lot. Although the main structure remained intact some demo work had already begun here. The exterior walls were removed, which allowed for more light but created a harsh contrast between the light gray seating bowl and the darkened ceiling. What must have been a projection room or lighting rig that was also removed. In the center of the bowl the stage was partly destroyed allowing a view to its workings. Speakers and lights still hung from the ceiling.
I walked to the rear of the property for some exterior photographs. On my way out I noticed that one of the steel beams was marked "Schenectady Steel." The Starlite Theater was a local institution made from local materials. Schenectady Steel, by the way, appears to still be an active concern still with a factory in Schenectady.
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