Hancock’s first cinema was built by The Odd Fellows (an international service-oriented organization) in 1909 to hold meetings and provide a common area for local events. The Rebekahs (the female auxiliary of The Odd Fellows) also utilized the property for meetings. Now known again publicly as The Capitol Theater, and the temporary location of the Hancock Arts Center.
With the popularity of movies, by the late 20’s the building came to be known as the Hancock Opera House, and was screening feature length movies. Shortly thereafter, The Capitol Theatre came into being overseen by Mr. English, The Capital Theater’s first Proprietor, and owner.
From the 1930’s until the mid-1960’s, the Capitol Theatre was run by Eva and Harvey D. English, Jr. as part of the H.D. English theater chain, Harden Theatres.
After the Capital discontinued exhibiting movies, Capra Cinemas was formed to fill the void left in the local community. Capra Enterprises, a partnership between Donald Rajoppi and James Cutrone opened the brand new twin cinema in 2001 in the West End of the village.
In October of 2016 Capra Cinemas changed hands. Cindy and Mike Argiros, long known in the community as enterprising and public minded, purchased Capra Cinemas, and renamed the new venture, Hancock Cinemas.
As television grew, and the local population declined, the movie theatre business became difficult to maintain. After 4 owners since Harvey English, in 2000 the Capital Theatre discontinued operation as a Movie Theatre. The 35MM arc lamp projector, and giant 38 foot screen were sold off. For a time between 2003-2016, the Capitol Theatre hosted live performances by the Old Capitol Theater Players, Little Victory Players, and original plays by Judith Present.
After making extensive renovations, and installing a new digital projector at a cost over $70,000, the former Capra Cinemas became Hancock Cinemas. It’s doors reopened on November 4, 2016, featuring “Dr. Strange”, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
The newly renovated theaters boast 2 state of the art digital projectors. The Hancock Cinemas Cineplex is comprised of two theaters, a 150 seat cinema and 300 seat cinema. Our concession stand offers a variety of snacks, drinks, and of course, hot, fresh buttered pop corn.
Hancock Cinemas new location and management hopes to see you soon, and often!
Hancock Cinemas, LLC
533 West Front St. Hancock, New York 13783
By Phone: 607-637-3456
By eMail: Mike@hancockcinemas.com