Rochester, N.Y. – After over a decade of renovations the final phase of the Dryden Theater is almost complete. Saturday is the re-opening day for the theater after being closed for two months for the final phase of renovations.
“I hope for audience members coming in, they'll walk into the theater and say 'oh wow',” said Assistant Curator Caroline Yeager.
The inside of the theater has been completely overhauled. There are new seats, a new screen, new flooring, with touches of the past - including the curtain above the screen and exit signs.
“I can't wait to put up some our older films in the collection and see them on the screen in this environment,” said Yeager.
The theater is now draped in purple and maroon, to darken the space so there's more focus on the screen.
“In this particular phase of the Dryden there have been a lot of bits and pieces,” said Yeager, “we've had electrics, we've had a concrete pouring, we've had a hearing loop instillation, painting we've had floor refinishing, we had a digital projection installed, new screen, new [screen] masking. It's been a lot.”
Five-hundred new seats were installed, that's 35 less then the original theater, giving movie goers more leg room.
“We lost mainly seats in the balcony,” said Yeager. “We took them out there because what we tried to do was give people a little more knee room, so we extended the actual tiers they sit on. The seats in the front rows are six-inches higher then they were with the old seating plan with the old seats.”
And there’s more knee room on the main floor as well.
“The front row is actually about nine-inches closer to the stage,” said Yeager. “So where I’m sitting its divine, I have all the room in the world.”
The Dryden Theater's reopening night will be this Saturday.
Academy Award winning director Alexander Payne will be at the reopening with a screening of his movie “Sideways”.