A history of the Lake Ontario Playhouse
The Building now known as the Lake Ontario Playhouse was built in 1906 by the International Order of Odd Fellows (which is odd). It had many functions over the years including a Silent Movie House and a Minstrel Hall. Legend has it that a dog would attend most of the old silent movies and would bark whenever something was funny. (Even today, if you listen very closely, you can often hear the sound of a dog barking after a particularly funny joke.) Another interesting tidbit (if you're a moose) is when the Army was stationed at Madison Barracks (sometime before Carter was president) they would hold weekly balls (that's dances) at the Odd Hall. Also, Sackets Harbor held its graduation ceremonies in the ballroom.
The building's claim to fame, however, (aside from YOU being here today) was that it was the site of the first USO show broadcast to Europe during WWII (also sometime before Carter was president). Unfortunately, after the Second World War there was a pestilence throughout the land (some called it the Cold War) and the building couldn't keep a steady job, becoming everything from a roller skating rink to a laundromat to a youth center (going bankrupt frequently).
After over 20 years of utter abandonment, the Kinnie Family took over the building in 1986 for a song (actually for a song, a dance and a play) opening in June of 1987 (and there was much rejoicing throughout the land). The Odd Hall had no heat, plumbing or electricity. It didn't even have a kitchen sink. But with the help of many friends, family, the bank and the community (except those who had the owner arrested) the Playhouse, originally conceived by the young owner as a dress factory, slowly was restored and the Odd Building became an even odder business called (INSERT THEME MUSIC HERE) the Lake Ontario Playhouse. The Playhouse has gone through many adjustments and many ups and downs over the years. We've done summer stock theatre, had a book store, concerts for the school, musical acts, but Comedy is what's kept it all together. Now some of our comics have become famous. Who will be next?
Thanks for your support....and Keep On Laughing!!!
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