Saturday, October 1, 2022

Chestertown’s Carol Theatre bought, reopens

Chronicle staff writer Zander Frost writes:

A concert at the Carol Theatre in Chestertown on Friday evening, Sept. 3, by the High Peaks Bluegrass Band will be “the first time the building’s opened its doors in over two years. We’re excited to have people back in the building,” Vanessa Hutton told The Chronicle in response to our phone call.

Vanessa and her husband Ryan Hutton bought the theater in July 2019.

A Long Island native, she is an attorney in Chestertown with McPhillips, Fitzgerald & Cullum, LLP. Her law office is in the theater.

Mr. Hutton is a Chestertown native. He works in technology.

The couple were living on Long Island and working in New York City.

“We bought a home up here a few years back…a part-time residence,” Mrs. Hutton said. “And then with the pandemic and everything else, we’re both up here full time now.”

Why did they buy the theater?

“I was actually looking for a place for my law office. So that was kind of how it all came about,” Mrs. Hutton said.

“My husband grew up in Chestertown and went to North Warren High School. So he had fond memories of going to the Carol Theatre for movies as a child and was like ‘how neat would it be to own this?’ So we fell into it from there.”

She said the theater seats 244, plus 20 to 30 standing room.

“We privately did some renovations in the space, we renovated the snack bar…repainted the theatre, built a bar, redid the floors,” said Mrs. Hutton.

The Sept. 3 concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at brownpapertickets.com, or at the door. High Peaks Bluegrass is a four-piece band playing bluegrass, gospel & old time tunes.

Looking forward, Mrs. Hutton said, “Friday, September 17, we have Chicago Total Access coming. And we are trying to get a event booked for Friday, September 10. But we don’t have all the details on that yet.

She said they hope to do three Fridays in a row, close for the season, and then have a grand reopening next spring.

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