20 years of Garden Vibes

Posted by on Jul 16 2013 | House & Gardens

Two shows left! NRBQ July 17 and The Ifs August 14.


Tickets available online or at the gate.




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Dryden Theatre Renovation Series: Stage and Carpet

Posted by on Feb 06 2013 | Motion Pictures

Freshly stained stage

The theater really seems to be coming together. This past week the stage was refinished with a beautiful black matte finish (and will match nicely with the curtain). The texture of the wood is still very much visible and the stage itself looks like new. Along with the staining the electric circuits in the stage were completely repaired and carpeting will be attached along the edges next week.

A new feature you will no doubt notice upon our reopening in March will be the advancement of the first row. The front row on the floor will be much closer to the stage than before allowing for more space between the rows behind and therefore allowing them to yield more leg room. So for those of you sitting in this row on March 2, you’ll be only a few feet from Alexander Payne during his Q&A!

LED aisle strips install

The theater trim has been painted red and the carpet has been laid down on the ground floor. While the painting was a simple task that took about one day, the carpeting of the balcony is a much more arduous process and is expected to take the entirety of next week.The back stairways have been completely carpeted and the noticeable differences include a dampened sound and a much softer feel underneath your sneakers.

Carpet install

The final step of the staircase in the balcony has been heightened and extended creating a landing on the balcony. The result is surprising. This has created more space for the aisle rows near the front and allows for more room to move once you get to the balcony.

I had the privilege of visiting the projection booth in progress. The floor has all new tile and the walls have been repainted. It is exciting to witness the careful preparation for the digital projector and the care that is being taken to keep our film projection equipment in the best possible condition.

We are still inviting anyone who purchased seats to send us pictures of their new home. You can send them directly to me at kresnick@geh.org or you can post them on our Dryden Facebook Page.

More on the Dryden Theatre Renovation:
Part I, The Curtain Stays
Part II, Seatless
Part III, Cement, Lighting, and Accessibility
Part IV, Painting, Listening System and Digital Projection
Part V, Stage and Carpet




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Dryden Theatre Renovation Series: Seatless

Posted by on Jan 10 2013 | Motion Pictures

an empty Dryden

If you were to look in the theater today you would never imagine that there was a screening just one week ago. Cinema Paradiso, the final film screened in the old Dryden, tells the story of a young man growing up in Sicily and the central role the local cinema played in his childhood. The cinema was central not only to the young man, Toto, but played a central part in the community he was a part of. Our screening brought in a crowd that filled over half of the theater that night and the sense of wonder was so omnipresent you could feel it in the theater as you entered.

Following the screening we began wrapping equipment in plastic. With the construction dust and concrete that will stirred up with the construction everything that could potentially be damaged, or was too arduous or near impossible to move, needed to be securely covered over. This includes the four projectors, the equipment in the projection booth, and the equipment left in the preservation work room, such as the Steenbeck flatbed.

The large curtain rolled up tight for safe keeping

The following morning the hard work began. At 7:00 am the volunteers and workers showed up, set up tents in the parking lot, and began tearing out seats. Taking the seats out of the theater was no small task. They were removed in sets of two, three, and four. Between the sets there were individual seats that would be used for spare parts in the seat sale and ensured that those who bought seats would have arm rests on both sides. First, the bolts holding the chairs into the floor were removed and the row was carried forward (by three or four people) and laid on its back. Once the row was flat on the ground it was much easier to remove the seat cushions and take the sets apart. The cushions were “friction set,” meaning they were not bolted or fastened onto the seat but were simply placed between the armrests where two hooks underneath fit snugly into holes on opposite sides of the seat. Following 60 years of people sitting in these seats they were pretty well, if not more than pretty well, secure and it took multiple hits with a hammer to dislodge them, sometimes more, and it was near impossible to do this with the seats in their upright position. Every seat was removed in those first two days and brought out to tents in the parking lot where they were picked up by those who had reserved them. By the end of the week the carpet, which had been glued to the floor, was torn up and the theater was completely bare.

The removal of the seats and the care for the equipment, on top of the sense of community involvement those first days was reminiscent of the images from Cinema Paradiso that we had seen just the night before, without the tears. Every person picking up their seats seemed thrilled to be taking a piece of Dryden history home with them. Much to our excitement many of the people who purchased them intended to use them for home theaters. Others were simply going to put them on their porch or in their mud room. Either way we were glad to see that they were finding a home where they would be cared for and used on a regular basis.

For those of you wondering about our iconic curtain, the drapery company came in and removed it on the first morning of the renovations. As seats were being forcefully removed and hammering could be heard throughout the theater, they gracefully constructed their ladder and scaled the height of the theater to remove it from its pulley system. When it was completely rolled up and ready to travel back to their storage facility it looked no bigger than any of the seats being removed from the floor. Truly a beautiful sight.

None of this could have been accomplished without the enthusiastic and generous help of the volunteers those first two days.

More on the Dryden Theatre Renovation:
Part I, The Curtain Stays
Part III, Cement, Lighting, and Accessibility
Part IV, Painting, Listening System and Digital Projection

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Cinema is an Event

Posted by on Dec 07 2012 | Motion Pictures

We are excited to announce the Dryden Theatre renovation! We’ll be talking lots more and giving updates in the coming days…




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Photo Finish 5K 2012 – Make A Difference

Posted by on Oct 01 2012 | Other

By Adriane Smith, Race Founder’s Circle and Eastman Young Professionals Steering Board

When I visit George Eastman House, I love to look at Mr. Eastman’s oak box full of index cards recording all of his charitable contributions. George Eastman was a great philanthropist and wanted to make Rochester, N.Y. the best place to live and work.

During his life he supported organizations concerned with health and wellness, culture, education, and more. Today, the charitable investments he made are still at the foundation of many organizations in Rochester and beyond.

It is George Eastman’s generous spirit of philanthropy that inspires the George Eastman House PhotoFinish 5K. In the PhotoFinish 5K, everybody can be a philanthropist. Everybody can invest themselves in the cause they feel most passionate about. And everybody can make a meaningful difference. The PhotoFinish 5K is a community wide event with participants donating and raising money for over 40 nonprofits—with concerns from education to health to culture to animals to music and anything in between.

You can join an existing team or start a new one for your own favorite nonprofit; fundraising is open through October. So many people coming together to support so many amazing causes truly exemplifies the vision George Eastman had for our community. This Saturday, runners and walkers will gather to celebrate George Eastman’s legacy of philanthropy. Come celebrate with us and together let’s make Rochester the best place to live and work.

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