Potential Downtown Theater Creating Drama

Potential Downtown Theater Creating Drama

The $100 million topic taking center stage is a brand new performing arts center in downtown Rochester. Mayor Lovely Warren has been pushing for the project, but some local arts groups say this has certainly created some drama.
While some groups still aren't sure about the performing arts center, others give it a standing ovation.

Rochester Mayor is hoping for lights, cameras, and action. Lovely Warren is the leading lady in the push for a $100 million performing arts center at the Midtown Plaza Site. Jim Vollertsen with RAPA, the Rochester Association of Performing Arts agrees that we need a new theater. And that's why he took over Kodak's Theatre on the Ridge.

"I want my theater to be it but I do think I have the theater it's acoustically perfect and we're going to be surprising people with events that will be happening there and we're turning our theater into a full production," Vollertsen says.

Arnie Rothschild, Chair of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League says there just aren't enough seats at Kodak, and he doesn't want our city missing out on any economic impact a brand new theater may bring. Rothschild believes another issue with the venue is loading productions onto set, RAPA says that's not true at all.

"When Phantom of the Opera a comes to town next week with 20 tractor trailers there's no way to load them in and out of your location what would you do park them on Ridge Road?" Rothschild explains.

Mark Cuddy is the artistic director at the Geva Theatre Center. He welcomes Warren's plan, but stresses if there's public funding, he wants other cultural institutions to be supported as well.

"You don't just build a building and suddenly everything's great with economic development, we're a smaller city and we need to invest in the things that are working and pockets of activity that are happening downtown," Cuddy mentions.

When Warren brought the theater to Governor Cuomo's attention, he told her to get the "okay" from other local leaders. The Mayor has said if this theater becomes a reality, it will help enhance and draw more tourists to downtown Rochester.
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