Press Release: Dryden Theatre reopening March 2 after major renovation
Oscar®-winning filmmaker Alexander Payne to present his film Sideways
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House will reopen Saturday, March 2, after a two-month closure to allow for extensive renovations and enhancements to the auditorium and projection booth. Guest artist on opening night will be Oscar®-winning director and writer Alexander Payne, who will present his highly acclaimed 2004 feature Sideways. Tickets go on sale Saturday, Feb. 2.
Features in the new Dryden – one of the world’s leading and oldest archival theaters – include new seats, new carpeting, enhanced ceiling and aisle lighting, more legroom, a new screen, and digital projection. The original seats from 1951 were sold to the public in January and are being replaced with ones larger in size and burgundy in color with wooden armrests.
The installation of a Barco digital projector will enable the presentation of contemporary cinema through digital media. A key component of this project is acknowledging the rise of digital formats while continuing to showcase historic film prints, honoring the aesthetic choices of filmmakers by projecting both analog and digital movie images as they were intended to be seen. The Dryden is one of only five theaters in the country equipped for the projection of original nitrate film (film made before 1951) and this capacity will be maintained in the upgraded projection booth.
“The Dryden Theatre is more than a movie theater,” said Dr. Paolo Cherchi Usai, senior curator of motion pictures. “It is the exhibition gallery for the art of cinema as seen, interpreted, and explained by George Eastman House. We want the Dryden Theatre to be a state-of-the-art exhibition venue for the museum and a place where cinema, as an event, finds its most perfect manifestation.”
History of the Dryden Theatre
The Dryden Theatre is named for George Eastman’s niece, Ellen Dryden, and her husband, George, who funded its construction in memory of Eastman’s contribution to motion pictures. Eastman is heralded as the father of motion picture film, having provided the film for Thomas Edison’s movie machines beginning in 1889, and dominating the industry for all decades thereafter. The Dryden has welcomed hundreds of filmmakers and actors in its 62 years and more than 1 million audience members. The repertory screenings feature titles from studios, fellow archives, and the George Eastman House motion picture archive, which is the third largest in the United States.
Thanks to THS Board President Karen Colizzi Noonan (Geneva, NY) for passing on the release!