Geneva, NY is home to one of the oldest operating performance theaters in the United States. The Smith Opera House, built in 1894 and designed by architects Joseph Pierce and Henry Bickford, has been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and has been called an architectural gem by The New York Times and the Smithsonian. It has played host to greats like Isadora Duncan, Wynton Marsalis, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel. The theater was renovated during the 1930s, filling the interior space with a modern baroque motif which was later restored in the 1990s.
To date, the stage has been graced with a range of artistic styles including dance, music, opera, theater and film. The theater seats 950 on the main orchestra floor and 450 in the balcony. Additionally, the historic theater screens films on a 40 by 30 foot screen. The space can also be reserved for weddings, meetings and large conferences. Interested in dinner before the show or a cocktail afterwards? See their list of food and drinks within walking distance of the theater, overnight accomodations and other tourist information
The Smith Center for the Arts organization is committed to providing and sustaining diverse arts and education enrichment opportunities for Finger Lakes residents and visitors. One of those is The ArtSmart Educational Theatre Series. Through this series they offer performances specifically designed for school groups including children’s picture books and classic literature, United States and world history, relevant social issues and experiences. Each year, The Smith presents a series for students of all ages and the general public.For the 2021-2022 school year, ArtSmart will be offered both in-person at the historic Smith Opera House and via livestream and pre-recorded events. Visit their Virtual Artsmart page for more details.
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