GLOVERSVILLE -- Glove Theatre Executive Director Richard Samrov has some important visitors coming to his historic venue on North Main Street later this month, and he's hoping the 104-year-old structure will be looking its best.
Inside, the place is in great shape. But outside, there is a problem. A delivery truck backed into the theater's marquee three weeks ago and caused considerable damage, knocking down part of the sign and bending its metal frame.
"I don't know what the problem was, but the driver was backing up and got up on the curb, and that's when he hit the sign," said Samrov. "That's in the police report, and now we're just waiting on our estimates. We've got two people looking at it, and hopefully by early next week, we'll know how much it will cost. We're definitely going to repair it. People don't have to worry about it not being fixed."
The theater was built in 1914 by Henry Cady and George Dartch. In 1920, they sold it to the Schine Brothers, J. Myer and Louis, and it thrived under their direction. Owners of dozens of theaters across the country, the Schines sold the theater in 1965. It's the descendants of J. Myer Shine who plan to visit the theater in the near future.
The Glove Theatre, whose marquee was recently damaged, was opened in 1914. (Marc Schultz)
"They have remained interested in the place, and they're coming for a visit later this month on their way to Canada," said Samrov. "We were getting the place in great shape, and then this happens. This sets us back a little."
A new marquee for the theater was put up in 1938. In February of 2016, that sign suffered considerable damage in a windstorm. Repairs were nearly complete before last month's mishap. There were no injuries related to the truck accident.
"No one was inside when it happened, and it hasn't impacted us at all," said Samrov. "We're just getting ready for our spring concert series."
The Glove Theatre is run by a non-profit organization and Samrov is a volunteer. The venue was shut down for a time in 1975 and was scheduled for demolition in 1995 before Samrov and other concerned citizens saved the structure. It typically has a few band concerts each month, offers a children's theater group in the fall and also occasionally shows films.
"We can't afford to bring in big shows like Proctors, but we have our concerts, our movies and our kid's theater group in the summer," said Samrov. "People in this city love this theater, and we feel it's really important to keep it going."
Samrov also oversees a small history museum in the theater, including items from the venue's heyday. In the 1920s and 1930s, the theater hosted some of the biggest stars in vaudeville, including Jack Benny and Buddy Ebsen. In 1938, the theater hosted one of the world premiers of "Drums Along the Mohawk" with Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert.