Alive Downtowns!

In a remarkable statewide effort, the 13 downtown historic performing arts centers from Jamestown to Poughkeepsie (including the West Herr Performing Arts Center), have come together to form Alive Downtowns! This coalition, having met virtually since the start of the pandemic, had a goal of encouraging New York State lawmakers to think of the Upstate historic theatres as they do zoos, aquariums, and public television statewide - organizations that have a great public benefit to the citizens of the state.

Combined, these facilities have an average age of nearly 100 years and have been keystones to their respective downtowns. They serve over 5 million people annually, including thousands of students, with aggregate budgets exceeding $100 million, and economic impacts for Upstate’s major downtowns conservatively exceeding $350 million. Upstate New York’s historic theaters are essential to the cities in which they operate, continuing attractiveness, urban education opportunities, and economic viability.

This effort became a top priority for Senator Jeremy Cooney, who has been a champion for the arts in our communities. Additionally, Assemblymember Harry Bronson, along with other State Legislative Delegations, worked tirelessly to make state support a reality. Collectively, they have successfully secured operating capital support from the state for each of these historic Upstate venues! The coalition is grateful for the outcome, which will allow its members to continue to be part of growing Upstate downtowns, guaranteeing accessibility for all citizens for years to come.

Alive Downtowns! Members:

  • Bardavon 1896 Opera House (Poughkeepsie)
  • Clemens Center (Elmira)
  • Palace Performing Arts Center (Albany)
  • Proctors Collaborative (Schenectady, Albany, Saratoga)
  • The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts (Jamestown)
  • West Herr Performing Arts Center (Rochester)
  • Shea's Performing Arts Center (Buffalo)
  • The Smith Center for the Arts (Geneva)
  • Stanley Theatre (Utica)
  • State Theatre of Ithaca
  • Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre
  • Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
  • Ulster Performing Arts Center (Kingston)



(NYS Senator Cooney Pictured with Owners and Operators of Historic Theaters Across Upstate New York)

Alive Downtowns! is an affiliate corporation to the 'Upstate Theater Coalition for a Fairgame', established in response to the establishment of casinos in the eastern and southern tiers of the state. More information about Alive Downtowns! can be found at: