Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Pelham Picture House of Pelham, New York

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Senate Resolution No. 701

BY: Senator BIAGGI

COMMEMORATING the 100th Anniversary of the Pelham
Picture House of Pelham, New York

WHEREAS, The arts, in whatever form depicted, are central to human
expression; they are truly a universal language and their contribution
to the development of friendship and understanding among all peoples
cannot be overestimated; and

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to recognize and
commend those illustrious organizations that have brought entertainment
and cultural enrichment to the citizens of the great State of New York;

WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its
long-standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to
commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Pelham Picture House of Pelham,
New York; and

WHEREAS, The Pelham Picture House is a community-based,
mission-driven, non-profit alternative to commercial movie theaters,
presenting the best in independent, international, documentary, and
classic cinema; and

WHEREAS, Furthermore, the Pelham Picture House offers weeklong
theatrical runs of popular, independent, art house and classic films, in
addition to curated series, retrospectives, and sneak previews; its
special events, some featuring visits from well-known industry
professionals, provide an insider's view of the magic of the movies; and

WHEREAS, The history, the heritage, and the lives of the people of
all countries and all cultures are portrayed in their music and dance;
the art and act of sharing them enriches us altogether; the Pelham
Picture House opened to the public on September 10, 1921, featuring the
silent film, "Passing Thru", a comedy-drama by Agnes Christine Johnston;

WHEREAS, In 1927, the theater closed for 11 months due to
competition from larger theaters in neighboring communities; one year
later, a real estate firm petitioned the Village of Pelham for
permission to reopen the theater; they were successful, and the theater
reopened on August 18, 1928, with a screening of, "King Vidor's The
Crowd"; and

WHEREAS, The Rogowsky Family purchased and refurbished the theater
in 1936, and in the 1940s, before television, children flocked to the
theater to watch cartoons on Saturday morning; an 11-speaker Dolby
stereo sound system plus a new screen and curtain were added in 1987;

WHEREAS, In 2001, the Pelham Picture House, which has been
continuously operating as a movie theater for more than a century, was
set to be demolished and replaced by a retail bank when a group of

citizens established the nonprofit organization, Pelham Picture House
Preservation, to purchase and preserve the theater; and

WHEREAS, The Pelham Picture House was nominated for listing on the
New York State Register of Historic Places in 2004, and in 2008, the
Picture House begins an ambitious programmatic build-out that includes
the organization's first original education initiatives; and

WHEREAS, One year later, in 2009, the Picture House launched its
first two original film series: "Reel Insider" and the classic series
"Sunday Essentials"; the inaugural Summer 2009 season of "Reel Insider"
saw a slew of exciting new films and talent, inspiring Westchester
Magazine to name Reel Insider as one of its "52 Reasons to Love
Westchester"; and

WHEREAS, Today, this vital nonprofit is known as the Picture House
Regional Film Center, and has preserved and restored one of the few
surviving and still operating single-screen theaters; and

WHEREAS, Throughout its distinguished 100-year history, the Pelham
Picture House has remained true to its mission to create a shared
community experience for diverse audiences through film, education
programming, and unique cultural offerings; and

WHEREAS, This extraordinary historically preserved and restored
theater continues to offer a unique gathering place dedicated to
entertaining, enriching, and inspiring a sense of wonder for all ages;

WHEREAS, The success of the Pelham Picture House is in direct
correlation to the efforts of its dedicated staff, members and
volunteers, whose involvement is, and always has been, characterized by
an impressive commitment, an unbridled enthusiasm, and an uncompromising
standard of excellence in all endeavors on behalf of the organization
and the community it serves; and

WHEREAS, It is most fitting that we take time to celebrate the arts
of our Nation, to honor our artists, and to express our appreciation to
everyone who patronizes the arts; and as we celebrate the arts, we
celebrate and give thanks to our American freedom, the only atmosphere
in which artists can truly create and in which art is truly the
expression of the soul; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Pelham Picture House in Pelham,
New York, fully confident that it will continue to enjoy the sparkling
success which has so characterized its past; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the Pelham Picture House.


  • 28 / Apr / 2021
  • 04 / May / 2021
  • 04 / May / 2021

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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