Capital Region music lovers recall fond memories of the Starlite Theater

LATHAM, N.Y.—An iconic music venue is no more in the Capital Region, demolition of the Starlite Theater in Latham is now underway.

It has been vacant since 1998, but for years saw the likes of major headliners like Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.

The news of the demolition has resulted in dozens and dozens of people sharing their memories with News 10 on Facebook and Twitter.

George Catalano thumbs through 23 program covers from 1978 to 1983 from various shows he saw at the Starlite Theater, at the time, called the Coliseum Theatre.

Catalano says he and his wife had front row tickets to every show they saw.

“The front row was kind of unique, because the stars would actually come to the front row and chat with the people or shake hands,” he says.

The Starlite Theater's revolving stage was home to many acts, Catalano recalled a few prominent names, like Sammy Davis Jr. and Bob Hope.

Catalano says the demolition saddens him, the building representing so many memories.

“I wish it was still around today, because that was entertainment back then, it really was,” he says. “My wife and I really enjoyed it, we looked forward to it. Every Saturday night we were there.”

Butt the Starlite Theater was home to more than just musical acts, Shaker High School had its graduation ceremonies there until 1998.

Veronica Smith was in the last class to receive a diploma on that stage.

“It was nice to be at a place that everyone was familiar with and there were a lot of concerts there,” she says.

While the theater used to be vibrant and pristine, it deteriorated over the years, eventually become an eyesore.

But when Catalano says when he closes his eyes, all he sees is the beauty that used to be.

Demolition will take two to three weeks and plans for re-development are already underway, for a combination of residential, commercial and office space.

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