The Chatham Film Club was organized in 1998 at a small gathering of neighbors and friends who were interested in bringing art, independent and foreign films to Columbia County. The group approached Tony Quirino, owner of the single screen Crandell Theatre, and inquired about renting the theater for once a month Sunday matinees. The Chatham Film Club was born and has sponsored programming at the Crandell Theatre ever since, serving its 800 plus members and movie lovers from around the region.

In 2000, the Film Club joined forces with the Columbia County Council on the Arts to produce the first FilmColumbia festival, a weekend of films at the Crandell. Every October since, the Film Club has produced the festival, which has now expanded to five days and multiple venues in Chatham.

Twelve years after its partnership began, the Film Club and the Crandell faced an uncertain future with the unexpected closing of the theatre in January, 2010. With generous donations from members, foundations, patrons and friends, the Film Club purchased the Crandell Theatre. After a month of renovations, the Crandell reopened on July 9, 2010.

Through the continued and vital community support, the Chatham Film Club continues to preserve, maintain and improve the Crandell Theatre, sustaining it as the jewel of Main Street that it has been since it opened in 1926.

The Bottom Line

As the pie charts show, ticket sales and memberships are only part of the big picture that is the Crandell. As we continue to explore additional projects and improvements, we will need to count on the generous support of our friends and members so that we may continue to offer a high-quality film experience at affordable prices.

In 2016, we emailed a Community Audience Survey. 95% of the 800 respondents said that “the Crandell is extremely valuable to the community.” Thank you!

Special Programs

Giving Back & Collaborations

  • Collaborated with Chatham Agricultural Partnership and Columbia Land Conservancy to produce the 8th Annual Farm Film Fest for 250 attendees on March 19.
  • Sponsored and produced the After School Filmmaking Project for students in three Columbia County middle schools with nancial support from the Columbia County Arts & Humanities Project, Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and the Questar III Arts in Education Fund.
  • Hosted free memorial tribute screening for Ellsworth Kelly to full house.
  • Funded four Columbia County libraries for an annual license to show lms.Collaborated with Chatham Agricultural Partnership and Columbia Land Conservancy to produce the 7th Annual Farm Film Fest for 250 attendees on March 15.


Did You Know?

Fun Facts from 2016

  • 1,206 Chatham Film Club members
  • 68 weekly movies screened, 25,937 tickets sold
  • 38 solo-Sunday matinees, 2,178 tickets sold
  • FilmColumbia: 47 movies screened, 7,575 tickets sold
  • 5 free community events48 weekly movies 29,243 tickets sold



  • Annie Brody Executive Director
  • Matt Converse Theater Manager
  • Dawn Steward Office Manager

Board of Directors

  • Fred Ulrich
  • Peter Biskind
    Vice President
  • Susan Van Tassel
  • Lael Locke
  • Sandi Knakal
    Immediate Past-President
  • Bill Barrett
  • Mary Gail Biebel
  • Judy Grunberg
  • Sharon Grubin
  • Laurence Kardish
  • Lydia Kukoff
  • Sara McWilliams
  • Calliope Nicholas
  • Viki Sand
  • Will Swift
  • Honorary Board Member
  • James Schamus
  • Honorary Board Member &
    Founder of The Chatham Film Club
  • Carole Roseman