The Ghostlight Theatre Company was founded in 1972 by Father Louis Dolinic as the NT Summer Theatre Workshop. The name was changed to NT Theatre Workshop in 1983 and to the Ghostlight in 1988. The company's name was changed to Starry Night Theatre, Inc., in 2001. Starry Night Theatre has produced over 170 stage productions including musicals, classics, dramas, comedies, children's theatre, and world premieres. Starry Night Theatre has launched over 40 new plays that have been published and produced in 48 states, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Greece. Starry Night Theatre is a ten-time winner of arts & humanities awards on the local, regional and national levels. In 2016, Starry Night Theatre won the Teddi Award from Camp Goods and Special Times.
Starry Night Theatre, Inc. was born on March 22, 2001. Starry Night is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) Arts and Education organization. The mission of Starry Night Theatre is to protect and preserve the Ghostlight Theatre at 170 Schenck Street in North Tonawanda, New York, and to produce quality and meaningful theatre experiences for all ages. The name Starry Night comes from the Vincent Van Gogh painting of the same title. You can see the extraordinary painting displayed on the wall under the balcony of the Ghostlight Theatre. Van Gogh painted Starry Night the same year the church was built: 1889.
133 years old and still standing, the history of the Ghostlight Theatre...
On a rainy Halloween in 1889, the cornerstone was laid for the Evangelical Friedens Church of North Tonawanda at the corner of Schenck and Vandervoort Streets. On September 1, 1890, the Church was completed. Designed by George Fischer of the Gombert & Thompson Company, the church featured an 80-foot steeple and could seat 400. The bell, purchased from the First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo, was cast by the Meenely Foundry in West Troy, New York in 1851. It weighs 2,800 pounds and the diameter at its mouth is 52 inches. In 1918, a Hope Jones organ, built by the Wurlitzer Company, was installed. In June 2000, the Frieden's United Church of Christ Congregation moved into their new home in Amherst.
January 2001, the church was acquired by the newly formed Starry Night Theatre, Inc. and named the Ghostlight Theatre. Early restoration projects included a new roof, four new forced-air furnaces, glass block windows for the basement, air-conditioning, a fresh coat of paint on the interior and exterior, and installing a wheelchair lift. Subsequent projects have included siding for the building, digging a trench around the basement, a new ticket booth, a handicap restroom, risers in the auditorium, a new porch, a new technical booth, an art gallery, lower level restrooms have been refurbished, and a new lounge in the lower level. Today, the Ghostlight Theatre seats 208 on the main floor with a second-floor costume shop and a set construction shop, storage, lounge, art gallery, and snack bar on the lower level. Yes, the Theatre is haunted.
We have produced over 100 shows since opening over 20 years ago...