Steamer N.10 Theatre, Inc.

Steamer No.10 ignites the imagination and enlivens the community by inspiring artists young and old to engage in multi-disciplinary arts programming – producing and presenting shows; offering classes, exhibitions, films, festivals and collaborating with a variety of artists and arts organizations by offering a variety of resources..

History of Our Theatre

The history of the Albany area is deeply embedded in the land the Theatre rests on.

In 1831 the first Steam-Powered locomotive, the DeWitt Clinton, make its inaugural run to Schenectady as the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad. It cut travel time for Erie Canal passengers from a full day for the 24 locks, to under an hour. The two cars of dignitaries on the inaugural run spent much of the time with the growing pains of riding a prototype for a train. There were jolts as the train sped up and slowed down – they had not invented couplers yet and connected the cars with chains. They also dealt with sparks from the charcoal burning engine landing on hats and coats, resulting in beating each other about the head and shoulders to put out small fires.

In the late 1880’s the area on the western edge of the City was being developed and it was determined a firehouse needed to be constructed at the intersection of Western and Madison Avenues. The original plan had the entrance to the firehouse closer to that five-way intersection with the driveway adding a sixth point to it. The neighbors thought the intersection was bad enough and this would only make it worse. They prevailed, the drawings were turned around and the fire engine was to exit onto West Lawrence Street. The firehouse Steamer No.10 was built in
1891 and opened that year.

In 1910 they began to experiment with automotive fire engines and by 1920 they had committed to them, renamed the firehouse Engine No.10 and retired the horses and steam-engine. In 1926 they tore down the horse barn and built a police station, now Center Station.

In 1988 the City built a new Engine No.10 at Brevator and Washington and the fire engine rolled out for the last time. The City considered using the building as the Pine Hills Library. They had sold that 4,000 sq. ft. building to the College of St. Rose, but it was determined that the 3,000 sq. ft. firehouse was too small and could not hold the weight of the books. The City bought the former NY Telephone switching building across the street which became the Pine Hills Library.

After two and a half years of renovations, converting a working firehouse into a 120 seat theatre, Steamer No.10 Theatre opened on February 1, 1991.

Meet Our Board

Ric Chesser

Executive Director and Founder

Board Members
President – Steve McErleane
Secretary – Christine Saplin
Director – Edward Noel Wilson 
Director – Liza Wolf
Director – Nichole Katz
Director – Sarah Moore
Director – Christina Wicks
Counsel – B.J. Costello
Director of Education – Jacqueline Donnaruma