Dryden Theatre reopening March 2 after major renovation

Published on : Saturday, February 2, 2013

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.”

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