Blog Post #17: Our History: Revival of the Northampton Players - ACADEMY OF MUSIC

By Executive Director Debra J’Anthony

The board of directors’ attempt to contract with Everett Butterfield of New York to bring in a stock company did not materialize, as he was in serious demand. On September 15, 1924, the Academy board then offered a contract for the 1924-1925 season to Arline Alcine and G. A. Lyon to manage the Northampton Players. This would be the second revival of the city stock company. After three months of plays, a deficit was discussed at the weekly board meeting. It was noted that a considerable amount of the debt was accrued prior to closing the theater in June of 1924. However, a vote was passed without much discussion:

 “Voted, that the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Music express to Mr. Alcine and the Northampton Players their appreciation of the admirable dramatic entertainment they have provided during the past eleven weeks, but regret that the patronage of the theatre has not been sufficient to make it financially possible to continue the engagement. “

 It was mentioned in the minutes that part of the deficit was due to a new theater in town – the Calvin Theater.  The board requested that manager, Mr. Powell, negotiate with the Paramount Company in regards to showing their films on a “co-operative basis.”

 On March 19, 1925, in order to decrease expenses, the board voted to use the piano only on matinees, except Saturdays – a savings of fifteen dollars.  And it was reported in the Gazette on March 20th that the city appropriated two thousand dollars:

“to pay a deficit at the Academy of Music incurred last year, the money to be transferred from the excess and deficiency account, was voted. It was explained that the municipal theater had lost $2900 during the year, especially because of the recent Northampton Players stock venture, and that the trustees have appeared before the finance committee and expressed the hope that the $900 balance will be made up by the profits of the current year.”

 Today, the Academy is sustainable through its programs and with the support of its community, corporate, city and state contributions.

 Help restore the Academy! We’re replacing the seats in the auditorium, repairing and repainting the ornate plaster, insulating and replacing the stage roof, and adding aisle lighting. Learn more.