Art Mission and Theater

61 Prospect Avenue
Binghamton, NY 13901

607-722-6914

Mission Statement

The ART Mission and Theater is an art cinema and a visual and performing arts space. We also serve as a community center for events related to the arts. Our mission is to be a source of inspiration and excitement for the community and be a catalyst for the revitalization of the Greater Binghamton area.

The ART Mission promotes its mission through:

 - Showing independent and foreign films that are usually not shown in other localtheaters.
 - Presenting exhibitions of new and established artists. These are free and open to the public.
 - Conducting community events, often through partnerships, to generate community participation in the arts.
 - Developing the downtown area though revitalization projects that utilize the visual arts.

History:

Before there was the “Art Mission Theater,” there was the “Art Mission” gallery and the “Art” movie theater. The Art Mission gallery was originally located in the historic district in the heart of Downtown Binghamton, NY. The Art Mission building dates from the 1840’s and is a landmark building in the National Historic Register. At one time, the building was the home of the City Rescue Mission. This is the origin of our name. Renovation of the historic City Rescue Mission at 128 Washington Street proved to be a positive force in the revitalization 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 building restoration was recognized with an award from the Preservation Association of the Southern Tier.

The Art movie theater was originally located in a renovated 1920’s era theater on Vestal Avenue in Binghamton. 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. Showing “art-house” films (with an occasional second-run film or event) there was a small but loyal audience who regularly attended to see the latest in unique films that no other local theater would show.

In February 2004, the Art theater was destroyed by a fire. Southbridge Arts and Business Community (SABC) formed to revive the Art Theater, first at its original location, and then to create a newer theater and resume showing independent film in Binghamton. After two years of operating as a volunteer/membership effort showing DVDs while researching opportunities the SABC committee was invited to become a project of the Art Mission. The SABC passed a motion to accept.

The Art Mission Board of Directors approved the merger of the Theater and Gallery in 2005. A duplex theater and movie house was planned for 61 Prospect Avenue, in the emerging Railroad District bordering State St. and Lewis St. The four story 1900’s historic property, formerly a railroad hotel and home of Gould Publishing, among other businesses, went through extensive renovations with volunteers and donations from businesses and the community. The gallery opened in February, 2007 followed by a May 2007 opening of the new duplex theater.

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