Art Mission and Theater
61 Prospect Ave
Binghamton, NY 13901
The Art Mission promotes its mission through:
§ Showing independent and foreign films that are usually not shown in other local theaters.
§ 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.
ABOUT THE ART MISSION:
We are located in a 100-year old building that was once a railroad hotel. This space, in the heart of the urban revival called the Railroad District, is now home to our gallery, two theaters and 3 floors of loft apartments.
The Theaters: We show the best in independent, experimental and foreign language films.
The Gallery: We are a premier showplace for exceptional visual artists in the area.
We have new exhibitions in our gallery each month. We show works in both new and media. Recent shows have included painting, photography, sculpture, and installation.
The Art Mission plays a central role in the revitalization of our urban center through arts and community activities. Along with First Night and the Gorgeous Washington Street Association, the ART Mission has contributed to the overall strength of the area’s economy by providing venues for cultural events and making the region attractive to both industry and new residents.
Our programs are supported in part by the United Cultural Fund of the Broome County Arts Council. We also depend on the support of our members and volunteers. We have many opportunities for anyone interested in getting involved!
The Art Mission is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.
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.