ROCHESTER, NY — Eastman Theatre temporarily becomes a construction zone today, as the Eastman School of Music’s $5 million dollar renovation to its Theatre’s stage begins in earnest at 60 Gibbs Street. The Theatre will be closed to the public throughout the remainder of the summer and into the early fall, with a grand reopening scheduled for early October (details to be announced).
The renovation of Eastman Theatre stage, announced publicly in February 2003, is the first of two phases of renovations planned for the 3,094-seat Theatre. Based on designs by Rochester architectural firm of Macon Chaintreuil Jensen & Stark, the greatly improved stage will include, among other things, a stunning new custom shell that will enhance acoustics; an improved orchestra pit, with all-new mechanics and hydraulics; new rigging; and improved stage lighting. It is intended to enhance the experience — visually, acoustically, and practically — for performers and audiences alike. Additionally, it will complement the aesthetic treatment of the Theatre’s house, better serve the very real needs of performers, and simply function more efficiently and safely.
When Eastman Theatre opened in 1922, it was used as a center for music, dance, and silent film with orchestral and organ accompaniment. For more than 80 years, it has served as Rochester’s premier performance venue and the primary home for the Eastman School’s major ensembles and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.