About

MISSION/HISTORY

A mission driven
by idealism and insight.

The mission of The Picture House is to create a shared community experience for diverse audiences through film, education programming, and unique cultural offerings. Our historically preserved and restored theatre offers a unique gathering place dedicated to entertaining, enriching, and inspiring a sense of wonder for all ages.

The 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. The Picture House offers weeklong theatrical runs of popular, independent, art house and classic films, in addition to curated series, retrospectives, and sneak previews. Our special events, some featuring visits from well-known industry professionals — actors, producers, writers, directors, and designers — provide an insider’s view of the magic of the movies.

 

A community that rose to the task.

The great old movie houses of the past have largely been carved up, torn down, or turned into something completely different. In 2001, the Pelham Picture House, which had been continuously operating as a movie theater since 1921, was set to be demolished and replaced by a retail bank. But: a group of citizens established the nonprofit organization, Pelham Picture House Preservation, to purchase and preserve the theater. Today that nonprofit is The Picture House Regional Film Center. Having preserved and restored one of the few surviving—and still operating— single-screen theaters, we work to ensure that The Picture

 

History

Pelham Picture House opens on September 10, 1921. First shown: “Passing Through,” a comedy-drama by Agnes Christine Johnston.


The “talkies” arrive in Pelham when Vitaphone equipment is installed. First heard: “Nothing But The Truth” starring Richard Dix and Helen Kane.


“The Voice of Action” sound system, by Western Electric, is installed.


The Rogowsky Family purchases and refurbishes the theater.


The Rogowskys add an 11-speaker Dolby stereo sound system plus a new screen and curtain.


The historic Pelham Picture House is set to be demolished to become a retail bank.

A group of citizens establishes the nonprofit organization, Pelham Picture House Preservation, to purchase and preserve the theater.


Pelham Picture House Preservation raises just under $1,000,000 from the surrounding communities – enough to acquire the theater and keep it open.


The Pelham Picture House is nominated for listing on New York State Register of Historic Places.


Pelham Picture House Preservation officially acquires the theater and changes its name to The Picture House Regional Film Center (informally, The Picture House).


The Picture House begins an ambitious programmatic build-out that includes the organization’s first original education initiatives.


The Picture House launches its first two original film series: Reel Insider and the classic series Sunday Essentials. The inaugural Summer 2009 season of Reel Insider sees a slew of exciting new films and talent, inspiring Westchester magazine to name Reel Insider as one of its “52 Reasons to Love Westchester.”


The Picture House completes fundraising for renovations and celebrates the beginning of construction with a Groundbreaking Ceremony on September 13. Prior to the theater closing, The Picture House launched two additional film series: Family Flicks, and An Evening With…


The Picture House reopened its doors early in 2011 to a renovated and restored theater, brand-new films series, new film education offerings, and its first-ever membership program.


Happy 90th birthday, Picture House! The organization celebrated by throwing the The Picture House 90th Birthday Gala on April 9, 2011.