Glove Theatre – The heart and soul of downtown

Guest post by Mark Finkle

I have always been a resident of Fulton County and I want to take a moment to reflect on how important the Glove Theatre has been to my life and memories. I am honored to be a board member and to have previously been the President of this organization as we continue to create memories for current and past generations.

In 1957, I remember standing in line at the box office with a line around the corner of the building on Saturday afternoons for a cartoon matinee for $.25. That’s right, a quarter! I guess it was our generation’s version of videogames. Spending the whole afternoon in the theatre with your friends was a great way to spend a weekend day!

In 1960, the local “Mickey Mouse Club” was held at The Glove. They replicated as much of the TV show as they could. We would show up with our mouse ears on, play games, and watch cartoons. The leader of the show­ – I even remember his name – Amos Slayter, would bring people up on stage and do games or skits. I would go down with my sister, Jane, every single time it was held, about once a month. It was the first time I was on stage and probably began my love for theatre, especially The Glove.

The Glove was a great part of my adolescent years. I remember seeing many movies and many afternoons walking downtown. You had to get there early to snag the front row of the balcony, the only place to watch a movie! I hate to admit part of the allure of that row was tossing popcorn at the kids below and not getting caught by the ushers—yes, they had ushers then. One time a soda fell off the balcony ledge, which was actually a true mistake. My friends and I were “asked to leave.” After all the things I believe I have accomplished and done for The Glove, it is funny that The Glove is also the only place I was thrown out of! I even remember the name of the movie—Davy Crockett with Fess Parker.

The Glove was still open when I returned to Gloversville after college. My dad never went to the movies. I remember finally talking him into seeing a movie. We went to see Blazing Saddles at The Glove. One of my fondest memories of my dad was watching him laughing nonstop from the beginning to the end of that movie. I had never seen him laugh that much for that long! It just added to my Glove memories.

I remember taking my father to see Blazing Saddles at the Glove…One of my fondest memories is watching him laugh nonstop during the movie.

Other theatres began opening, attendance was low, and the building was showing its age. In the late 1970s, times changed, the theatre closed, and it was truly a sad time. In the mid-90s, a dedicated group of volunteers finally came along and they were able to reopen The Glove. A new era had started, The Glove began producing plays and concerts. I loved the plays produced. This brings me to my fondest memory of my association with The Glove. My son was in a play in Chicago while he was in college, “And Then They Came for Me.” It was a Holocaust play written by a survivor. I fell in love with the production and was determined to bring it to The Glove. The story was about Anne Frank’s next door neighbor, Eva Schloss. Eva and her mother survived the war and Eva’s mother married Otto Frank, Anne’s father. We showed the play to local schools for a week of education, it was very well received.

We also had an adult performance. Unknown to many in the audience, Eva was in attendance. After a very emotional production, Eva walked on stage during curtain call. I cannot describe to you the emotion in the sold-out theatre as the audience realized who was standing there.

That moment is the single-most memorable moment in my lifelong journey with the Glove.

After that show, I joined The Glove’s Board of Directors and have served for 16 years, 10 as the President of the Board, determined to keep the dream and the theatre alive. That board inherited and paid down a huge debt, sponsored many events, including concerts, plays, and comedy festivals. Working with a wonderful, but all-volunteer staff is difficult, but a labor of love.

I believe in The Glove. So many memories, so much history in our community and personally. The Glove can, and will, be the centerpiece of downtown. It must be preserved. The current board inherited the drive and the dream and I hope the love of The Glove continues because I believe it deserves the community’s support. LETS KEEP IT STRONG!

Would you like to learn more about the Glove Theatre, productions and donation opportunities? Please go to their website here.

 

 

 

 

 

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