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The Business Page

Welcome to the business page, a blog where I'll take you behind the scenes of greater Rochester's fast-changing economy. My name is Ben Rand, and I intend to introduce you to some of the personalities, concepts and events that make news in business here. I've been a business reporter for eight years in Rochester and a journalist for 18, working in four states. I grew up in Pittsford, but moved away after college for about a decade. My wife and I live in Irondequoit with our two children.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Renaissance Square and More Theaters

The $172 million proposal to add three performing arts theaters with about 4,500 seats in downtown Rochester is sure to get some serious scrutiny, particularly in the wake of the Fast Ferry's demise.

One would hope that scrutiny would include both a clear vision for how the new theaters would be used, as well as what would happen to existing performing arts assets in the city.

Here are just a few of those assets, for the sake of discussion:

Geva Theatre Center, located in an historic hall on Woodbury Boulevard, has a 552-seat main stage and 180-seat "NextStage." Geva is one of the largest regional professional theaters outside New York. The NextStage was constructed within the last decade.

The Auditorium Theater on East Main Street, seats about 2,500 people for traveling Broadway shows sponsored by the Rochester Broadway Theater League. This venue was renovated three years ago.

Eastman Theater, the grandfather of all spaces downtown on Gibbs Street, has room for almost 3,100 people and also was just recently upgraded. The adjacent Kilbourn Hall has a capacity of 455.

Hochstein School of Music and Dance is able to put more than 850 people within 50 feet of its stage. This theater was restored in 1999.

Here's an even longer list of other performing spaces in and around our community.

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