Crandell Theatre Undertakes Building Improvements

June 2, 2014

As part of its ongoing improvement of the Crandell Theatre, the Chatham Film Club is conducting major work in two areas. The film club is replacing the existing electrical system that has been in the theatre since construction in 1926. It is also installing a new drainage system with hook-up to the storm drains in the Village of Chatham.

Both projects required a trench that was dug last week between the Crandell and Berkshire Bank and a second trench that will be dug on Kinderhook Street. Disruptions should be minimal. It is expected that work will continue through mid-June.

In recent months, the Chatham Film Club began working with representatives from New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) to coordinate installation of the new service and with Village officials to coordinate the hook-up with the storm drain. Greg Leggett of Leggett Electrical is upgrading the wiring. The film club hired Aaron Gaylord of AG Carpentry to manage the project.

Fred Ulrich, president of the film club, says “Upgrading the electrical system is a very important project and one that we identified as essential when we purchased the Crandell four years ago. We’re now able to proceed thanks to donations from our members and patrons.”

When completed, the two-fold project will lead to several improvements. First, the electrical upgrade will be more efficient and safer as well as better suited for the building. Second, it will eliminate minor flooding in the basement from a block in the old drain pipe. The Village infrastructure of storm drains will better handle the rain coming off the building.

Ulrich notes that the work is just one piece of the film club’s long-term mission to improve the 87-year-old building and retain it as an integral part of Main Street in Chatham. Community support is essential to make such improvements possible.

The Chatham Film Club, a 501(c)(3) member-supported nonprofit organization, owns and operates the historic Crandell Theatre on Chatham’s Main Street and produces the popular FilmColumbia Festival each October. For information on the Chatham Film Club, or to see what’s showing, visit