For Immediate Release: August 3, 2015
Contact:, 917-647-2279

The Pine Plains Memorial Hall building and grounds have been donated to the Pine Plains Memorial Hall, Inc. (PPMH) non-profit organization. The building was previously owned by an organization formed by three Pine Plains residents who want to renovate the building so that it can be used as it was originally intended. Jack Banning, Christian Eisenbeiss and Ariel Schlein purchased Memorial Hall and have been in the process of forming PPMH so that ownership could be transferred. PPMH received its 503(c)(3) status last month and the donation was completed on July 28, 2015.

Memorial Hall 1915

“We are thrilled to complete the donation of the building to PPMH. The organization is in place, we have been developing plans and have begun work inside the building,” said Mr. Banning.

“On behalf of PPMH, I want to thank Christian, Ariel and Jack for, not only this incredibly generous gift, but for their vision, energy and commitment,” said PPMH Executive Director, Brian Keeler. “Now it’s up to PPMH and the people of the region to complete this job.”

PPMH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to fostering community and economic development through the renovation and repurposing of the historic Pine Plains Memorial Hall which will offer community, educational and performance services and opportunities to the people of Northern Dutchess, Columbia and Ulster Counties.



Memorial Hall was constructed in 1915 and given to the Town of Pine Plains in memory of John McIntyre, his wife, Elizabeth Hauver and their children by their philanthropic granddaughter, Mary Ellen Lapham Saunders who grew up in Pine Plains with her grandparents.

The building is an example of Second Empire architecture that included a large theatre space, and was originally build to to be used for community gatherings, theatre performances, light opera and concerts.

In addition to being a regular stop for touring theatrical groups, it was a first run movie house in the Silent Film Era. It continued operating as a movie theater until the 1960’s. It was sold in 1976 at which time it was subdivided and used as a coffee shop, hair salon, offices and a Laundromat. In the 1990s it was again sold for development, which never took place, and Memorial Hall has been ever vacant since.