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Eight comics take the heat to benefit UTCA!


Utica zombie Walk after party

Immediately following the Utica Zombie Walk, we will be throwing an undead after party at The Uptown Theater!

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Back for its 10th anniversary!





Our Mission

Uptown Theatre for Creative Arts was formed in 2017 to provide Utica, NY and surrounding communities with diverse programming that inspires, educates, engages and entertains. Through these activities, and the restoration of the Uptown Theatre, UTCA will help revitalize Utica’s Uptown neighborhood so it reaches its potential as a cultural, social and economic asset to the region. 

As part of our mission, UTCA will offer a dynamic range of constantly-evolving programs to our constituents, on stage and on screen, in a multi-functional entertainment space. Additionally, with a robust workshop curriculum, UTCA will expand the Uptown from venue to village, offering a place for members of the community to come flex their creative muscles, engage with one another, and learn something new.  


Our goals for UTCA are simple, starting with the restoration of the Uptown Theatre property on Genesee Street. With the support of the people of Utica and the surrounding communities of Oneida County, we believe that not only can we Save The Uptown but together we can create a world-class entertainment district recognized nationwide as a grass-roots success story.   


Restore the historic Uptown Theatre of south utica, located on Genesee Street.


Provide unique and meaningful programming for those seeking to explore their creative talents in the Creative & Entertainment Arts.


Build a lifelong bond with the diverse communities of Utica, Oneida County and the Mohawk Valley.


Offer world-class programs featuring today's most influential and provocative writers, artists, craftspeople, musicians, and comedians.


“Being heard is very important to us humans.

— Forbes



In May of 2017, Devin Mahoney, a South Utica native, was walking on Genesee Street and found himself standing in front of the Uptown Theatre, an iconic building that sat vacant, rundown, unutilized. In a city that was positively buzzing with progress, this treasured landmark was just begging to be restored and reintroduced as an entertainment destination for Utica and an anchor to the Uptown neighborhood.

From there, Devin assembled our small team and formed UTCA to take ownership of the Uptown. Since publicly announcing UTCA’s acquisition of the property, we’ve been blown away by the optimism, celebration, and support from the community. People want to know what we’ve got planned and how they can get involved. The overwhelmingly positive response is how we know we’re not just following a crazy dream, but that we’ve really tapped in to something much bigger, an organic shared vision of growth and change. It’s what inspires us, drives us, and reaffirms our commitment to bringing this vision to life.

Together we'll spread the word, raise money, and save the Uptown! 





Ready to help?





New theater announced on the site of Utica Stadium, home of prize fight boxing. “South Utica arena will seat more than 3,000 fans. Circus seat accommodations already owned by Utica Stadium will be used. New lighting and heating systems will be installed.”

- March 1st, 1927-   

Utica Stadium is razed to make way for the Uptown. Sign on building read “on this site will be erected the Uptown Theater, Utica’s most modern, most beautiful fireproof theatre building.”

- April 18, 1927 -

Work gets underway after delays, seating capacity for 1500.  All of the structural iron was supplied by the Utica Steam Engine and Boiler Works and the Empire Wall plaster company furnished all the masonry materials.

An organ costing $25,000 is installed: “It will be erected on a lift or elevator device, disappearing when the orchestra is used. A large stage is also part of the equipment, though original plans call for motion picture entertainment. Use of a modern dimmer system, will make the lighting system for the entire auditorium the latest style in illumination. In the front of the building will be erected a beautiful marquee. Already a huge electrical sign reading Uptown Theater has been erected. It will have lights on the edges and a boom effect.”

Utica NY Daily Press 1927

- December 1927 -  

The Uptown Theatre opens. 

Several men and women prominent in the musical life of Utica will take part in the program which will mark the opening of the new Uptown Theater...The feature films will be shown for two days, giving three changes a week. Music will be furnished by the three-manual organ of the elevator type. The theater itself which will be thrown open for the first time Thursday is of an entirely new type of construction for Utica. It is constructed on the lines of an amphitheater, the seats rising in tiers, which give everyone a clear view of the stage.

Utica, NY Observer December 25, 1927

- 1960s-1970s -

The Uptown and the Stanley are the last of dozens of Utica theaters to survive the recession.

- 1970s - 1980s -

Multiplex cinemas move into the area and the Uptown carves out a niche for itself as a second- run movie theater.

- 1996- 2013 -

The Uptown switches management and business models several times before closing its doors in September 2013.

- 2017 -

The Uptown Theatre sits unused. UTCA is formed.

- March 2018 -

UTCA takes ownership of The Uptown with a plan for its restoration and reopening.

- JULY 2018 -

Phase 1 of Uptown Theatre Restoration Plan (renovation of former Michael’s Jewelers storefront) is completed with the support of Jay-K Lumber.

UTCA begins offering classes in sketch writing, improv and improv for kids in the newly-renovated storefront studio space.