Blog Post # 19: Our History: A Pricey Business - ACADEMY OF MUSIC

By Executive Director Debra J’Anthony

In February of 1926, Frank Lyman had offered to support another eight-week run of the Northampton Players at the request of the Citizens Committee.  One month later, the board of trustees  met to discuss the upcoming season. They determined if the Citizens Committee could secure pledges and subscriptions to cover a twenty-week season, they would continue with the Northampton Players. However, they felt that moving pictures was the better choice.  Inserted into their minutes was a Loss and Gain Account of the Academy of Music from 1893 to 1926, with a total deficit to the city in the amount of $4,621.

A note at the bottom of the statement read:

“Mr. E. H. R. Lyman supported the Academy for three years prior to 1893. Mr. Frank Lyman and Mrs. White gave $12,000 in 1913-1914.  Mr. Frank Lyman gave $11,500 in 1925.

“In 1905 the Academy was re-plumbed at an expense of between $3,000 and $4,000. Later it was equipped with an automatic sprinkler system, reducing the cost of insurance 67%, and decorated throughout. During the last six years the electrical equipment has been modernized and various other repairs made. The total cost of all these improvements would amount to more than $20,000, all of which has been paid from the earnings of the Academy.”

It was voted not to spend more than two hundred dollars on the subscription campaign expenses.  The Citizens Committee set out for another season with the Northampton Players!

The Pioneer Valley community continues to value and generously support the arts.  The Academy of Music now serves over 50,000 patrons a year.

 Help us raise funds  for our world premiere screwball comedy, Nobody’s Girl, inspired by real events at the theater in the 1940s! Learn more.