Recently, RAPA (Rochester Association of Performing Arts) invited us into their new home at the Kodak Center for the Performing Arts, previously named Kodak's Theatre on the Ridge. Not only did it give us a chance to learn about our city's past and the history of Kodak and George Eastman, but to see this building's future again here in Rochester.
We all know that Kodak was a major company here, as many of us have heard it from relatives and family friends who've worked there. And they were right. When the doors opened to us at Building 28 we couldn't believe what we found...we initially felt like we stepped back through time.
The colors, the wood paneling, the wallpaper, the carpets, it was like a time capsule of Kodak's heyday.
Escalators and elevators to every floor.
A gymnasium and employee fitness center.
And a huge cafeteria with Kodak's history still on the walls.
We even learned that when George Eastman developed this land he built his own power plant on the site to support his growing endeavors. See that building far in the back there? That is where his office still stands, untouched and off limits since the day he died.
We saw original signs to labs, offices, and darkrooms.
And many conference rooms throughout the building that are now rent-able spaces.
But, as much as we love Rochester history, this post is not about the past, it's about RAPA and the future of this building. RAPA is giving this building a new life. What we saw before as empty conference rooms and a gymnasium are now rehearsal space and acting classrooms.
This theatre seats 1,964 people and to fill those seats, the parking lot directly across the street from the building fits 1,400 vehicles.
Kodak Theatre boasts the largest stage in Rochester...
...10 dressing rooms...
...and a green room with direct access to the stage, with George always watching of course.
There's even space for an orchestra!
Here's another building hidden gem - a second, and quite smaller theatre, that seats 180. Imagine the possibilities.
We would love to continue showing you photos of how awesome this building is, but it comes down to this: RAPA has taken on a building that's had very few occupants for quite some time. Now it's being revived and put to good use.
Imagine the productions, the movies, maybe even the concerts. The Kodak Center for Performing Arts is a great asset to Rochester, thank you RAPA, for continuing to invest in the city.
Now go see a show!
Kodak Center for the Performing Arts | RAPA: Website
Stefanie is co-Founder and Editor of the Rochesteriat. She has a heart for Kodak, as her dad worked there for 23 years (and even in this building!) and she can't wait to go see Mary Poppins! Find her with a camera & phone in hand, taking photos for @theRochesteriat on Instagram. Follow her on Twitter.