1990’s: Unfortunately, not everyone recognized how important The Glen Theater was to the town of Watkins Glen and its patrons because the theater was shut down in the mid-1980’s and sat empty for over twelve years until 1996 when Mr. John “Jack” Scanlon and Mr. Ron Mathews brought the Theater back to life by financing a complete renovation of the tired building.
The building was given renewed spirit when the floor was restored, over 400 seats re-upholstered (some were taken out for added leg room), and the historical grandeur brought back with antique movie posters and photographs, found during the renovation, adorning the wall. The village came together to re-open the theater on December 12, 1996 to a sell-out crowd hosting musical guests, The Lettermen. $2 movies were shown throughout Christmas of that year. Other musical acts to grace The Glen Theater’s stage around that time included Rascal Flats, Daryl Singletary, Brad Paisley, and Jessica Andrews.
2003: Owner, Ron Mathews, turned the village pharmacy, next door to the original Theater, into another single screen movie theater. Commonly known as “the new theater”, this building boasts stadium-style seating and more modern amenities while maintaining the same historical feel of the “old theater”. This brought The Glen Theater into the forefront of movie entertainment in the area—now having the ability to show first-run movies while still keeping prices low.
2006: Having worked at The Glen Theater as an attendant since he was fourteen, Mr. Erich Herzig bought The Glen Theater, becoming the youngest entrepreneur in Watkins Glen. The buildings housing both theaters were purchased by Dr. Robert Wylie and Mrs. Sharon Vogt.
2008: Yet another change has come to The Glen Theater! Due, in part, to a state grant, the exterior of the original Theater has been restored to its turn-of-the-century motif. The interior maintains the gold and maroon color scheme but now with a light blue adorning the pillars, much of which was done by local contractors and artists. A new marquee has been constructed to match the original design and the exterior is now red brick—what it was when the Theater opened in 1924.
Today, the theater staff works hard to provide the best service to its patrons and welcomes anyone to visit and share more memories of this notable establishment.