People who live in the neighborhood have noticed some activity at the old Cameo Theatre property at 234 Robinson Street in recent days.

Damien Cornwell, who acquired the building in 2015, said he's attempting to clean up the site so it doesn't look "like a blighted property."

The Cameo Theatre on Robinson Street in Binghamton once attracted hundreds of people to watch movies. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The Cameo Theatre on Robinson Street in Binghamton once attracted hundreds of people to watch movies. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Cornwell told WNBF News there have been ongoing challenges in maintaining the property due to vandalism. He said he's constantly dealing with issues like people damaging the building and breaking into the old theater.

Cornwell said he finds the problem "really, really frustrating." Workers now are trying to deal with some of the basic cosmetic and foundation issues with the building.

A glimpse inside the old Cameo Theatre building on August 7, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
A glimpse inside the old Cameo Theatre building on August 7, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Cornwell is hoping to renovate the property to make it an attractive entertainment venue. He's received some financial support for the project from the state government but he'll have to find other sources of funding for what he estimates could be a $1.4 million project.

In an email, Mayor Jared Kraham said the city has been working with Cornwell with the goal of cleaning up the exterior conditions of the old Cameo. He said East Side councilman Thomas Scanlon has been "communicating with the owners frequently to get action on the property."

A view of the marquee of the historic Cameo Theatre on August 7, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
A view of the marquee of the historic Cameo Theatre on August 7, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Kraham said he's been working with NYSEG to restore power to the building "to help facilitate some of the work."

The mayor said while he expects the effort to renovate the building will take some time, the exterior "should be maintained and kept up" for the people who live in the area.

The east side of the Cameo Theatre building along Mason Avenue. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The east side of the Cameo Theatre building along Mason Avenue. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Kraham said the planned investment to restore the closed theater "would pump new life into the neighborhood and create important opportunities for City youth."

Despite the impending challenges in restoring the property, Cornwell said "the Cameo is a labor of love."

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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