Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Building that Waits

Yesterday I read a blog post about a ballroom in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The name of the ballroom intrigued me - Pla Mor.  I wonder where that name originated?

This ballroom, in an unassuming building, was built in 1929.  It is still used for various dance events, including Big Band nights.  I read online that greats such as Lawrence Welk and Count Basie performed there once, but it appears the writer could have been thinking of a Pla-Mor ballroom in Kansas City.

There was even a Pla-Mor skating rink in Cleveland.

I hope someone can solve the mystery of what "Pla Mor" stands for.

For some reason, reading about this ballroom reminded me of a building in downtown Binghamton, New York.  Once it was a venue for the greatest performers of the day.

Now, it is a ruin.  It was a ruin when I wrote the following post in 2013 (edited slightly), and it still is a ruin.

Will the Stone Opera House ever experience a rebirth?

From Edward G. Robinson to Ruin

What do Eddie Foy, Ethel and John Barrymore, Sara BernhardtGeorge M. Cohan, Teddy Roosevelt and Edward G. Robinson's first professional stage performance have in common?

Answer:  this building in downtown Binghamton, New York.

This is the Stone Opera House on Chenango Street.  It was a grand old opera house once, but its flag waving days are long over.  This 120 year old plus building, neglected and possibly close to its final days, patiently sits as passerbys walk by without a glance.  It's the shame of Binghamton.

In the 1930's it became the Riviera Theatre, and closed for good in 1973.  Now it sits, rotting and boarded up.

This is what it looked like once.

(This links to a You Tube video that, for some reason, I can't post directly on my blog.)

Actually, there are abandoned theaters all over this country.  Can we ever hope for someone to rescue this building and do something for it?  As of today, to the best of my knowledge - nothing has happened.

Even as crumbling buildings downtown are renovated and turned into student housing, the Stone Opera House waits.  And waits.

Sometimes, I wish I was very rich....


  1. Wow, that's a building with amazing history!

  2. It's so distressing to see lovely buildings crumbling into ruin. What about all the homeless people? Surely they could use the structure for housing? I know--someone would have to take charge. But that's what society is good for.

  3. pla mor = play more

  4. Thanks for the great post, shared for you as well :)


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