About Us

The precise beginnings of the business are lost in family lore, but…
Albany Theatre Supply Co. is a third generation 54 year old family owned theatre supply business.

Sometime in the late 30’s or early 40’s our grandfather, John A Bylancik, began a small business buying movie posters from first run local movie houses and renting them to second run houses. This became the business Theatre Displays which was later purchased by National Screen Corporation, which employed John A Bylancik as their sole local employee. He apparently supplemented his poster rental business by supplying other products to his theatre customers.

In October of 1946, this became Albany Theatre Supply Company, a partnership between John A Bylancik and his son-in-law John E McGrath, father of the current owners. John E McGrath became the driving force developing this into a complete cinema supply business supplying projection equipment, screens, sound systems, seats, etc to hundreds of theatres and drive-ins throughout the Northeast.. The partnership purchased its commercial building at 443 North Pearl St in 1952 and incorporated in 1955. It gradually expanded its product offerings and began selling commercial cleaning supplies to the theatres.

During the late 1950’s television began to threaten the movie industry and the janitorial division, known as ATSCO Products, began to take on added importance. At the beginning of the 1970’s Ruth M (McGrath) Sano and Richard T McGrath formed the next generation of the business. John A Bylancik, founder of the company died in 1972. The movie industry changed during this period. Local theatres were forced out of business by large national chains. This gradually destroyed our customer base of independent movie houses. The theatre division similarly broadened its product mix supplying sound systems, lighting systems, curtains, rentals and night club equipment to cinemas, DJs, colleges, schools and theatre groups throughout the region.

Our original corporate name, Albany Theatre Supply Co. Inc., continued to attract a customer base seeking supplies for live stage; spotlights, dimmers, curtains and sound systems. Thomas F McGrath joined the corporation in 1978 and developed this division. During the 1980’s ownership was transferred to Richard and Thomas McGrath and to Ruth M Sano, the current owners. In June of 1986 Richard T McGrath became President of the company. John E McGrath died in November of 1990.