3 Reasons You Need to Go to the Kodak Visitor Center

Whether you’re new to Rochester or a long time Rochesterian, get the Kodak Center on you MUST-DO list, now. Formerly known as the Kodak Theater on the Ridge and then Kodak Center for Performing Arts, the Kodak Center features touring productions, musicians, comedy, kids shows and more.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

While you should definitely check out their list of shows, we want to make sure the Kodak Visitor Center, which opened in December and is FREE, is on your radar. Here are 3 things you don’t want to miss:

1. Over 130 Years of Kodak History

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Kodak has a very deep and rich history here that extends beyond Rochester and now there’s a place to learn about it in person.

Learn about the start of Kodak, the way it impacted the world we live in, the Kodak cameras that went to the moon with Apollo 11, see the first digital camera, learn why film has perforations on the outside and so much more.

Check out this quick intro video on the Visitor Center:

2. The Exhibitions

The Rochesteriat

The Rochesteriat

The very first temporary exhibit featured at the Visitor Center was The Lost Coloramas, highlighting the work of photographer Neil Montanus. Neil traveled the world with his photography, he’s known for taking “the best portrait ever” of Walt Disney as well as shooting 55 of the 565 Kodak Coloramas that hung in Grand Central Station from 1950-1990.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

While The Lost Coloramas has ended, check out what’s open now through June 29th: The Kodak Park Works by Justin Scalera.

3. Ugly Duck & The Retail Shop

The Rochesteriat

The Rochesteriat

The best way to start your tour of the Visitor Center may be first to grab a coffee at Ugly Duck Coffee and then peruse the exhibitions….

The Rochesteriat

The Rochesteriat

Well, whether you do before or after your tour, you won’t want to miss this space housing Ugly Duck Coffee (grab coffee, a latte, tea, chai or maybe some pastries from Scratch Bakeshop) and the Kodak Retail Shop featuring mugs, bags, shirts, and more.

Not only will you have a great beverage from Ugly Duck, but the shop is also full of great gift ideas for someone who once worked at Kodak, someone who moved away from Rochester, a Rochester history buff (or fanatic), or maybe even a little something for yourself!

Kodak Visitor Center Hours:

Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
Saturday: 9am-3pm
Also open during Events & Shows

Ugly Duck Hours:

Thursday-Saturday: 9am-3pm
Also open during Events & Shows

Website: Kodak Center
Location:
200 West Ridge Road
Follow Along: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

 

Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! 

ROC City Guide: Best Theatres

Want to know where the best theatres are in the city? We got 'em listed here for you. Check it out and then go an enjoy a show or five!

Auditorium Theatre

Owned and managed by the Rochester Broadway Theatre League (RBTL) the Auditorium Theatre "is home to a full season of touring Broadway shows, the M&T Bank Broadway Season. The Auditorium Theatre also hosts a number of live concerts, comedy and dramatic events throughout the year and is used by local performing groups for recitals and other presentations."

Find it: Website, Map


Blackfriars Theatre

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

With a mission to enrich, entertain and inspire the community through exceptional theatrical arts while engaging local talent (via blackfriars.org) Blackfriars Theatre produces top-notch shows in a theatre where there are no bad seats.

Find it: Website, Map


Cinema Theatre

On the corner of Goodman & South Clinton is the Cinema Theater. Enjoy double features every night at 7pm, open captions on Wednesday nights and they even have a soundproof family room that can be reserved.

Find it: Website, Map


Downstairs Cabaret Theatre

This theatre produces "a diverse offering of musicals, comedies, dramas, new works, and music events.." (via downstairscabaret.com). And don't miss the Grove Place Jazz Project.

Find it: Website, Map


Eastman Theatre, Kodak Hall

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Kodak Hall located at Eastman Theatre showcases talent from Eastman School students to world-renowned musicians, not to mention our very own Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Find it: Website, Map


Geva Theatre

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Geva Theatre actually contains two stages inside this one building. The "552-seat Elaine P. Wilson Stage is home to Geva’s six-play subscription series featuring a wide variety of performances, from musicals to American and world classics... The 180-seat Ron & Donna Fielding Stage is home to Geva’s own series of contemporary drama, comedy and musical theatre; Geva Comedy Improv; Geva’s New Play Reading Series and the Hornets’ Nest – an innovative play reading series facilitating community-wide discussion on controversial topics" (via gevatheatre.org).

Find it: Website, Map


The Little Theatre

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

The Little Theatre shows everything from Blockbusters, to Independent and Foreign Films. Enjoy music, food, drinks and art in the cafe and then catch a film. Don't miss Mondo Movies and $5 Movie Mondays.

Find it: Website, Map

Lyric Theatre

Lyric Theatre is Rochester's newest performing arts venue and home to the Rochester Lyric Opera. Be on the lookout for performances, concerts and more.

Find it: Website, Map


MuCCC: Multi-use Community Cultural Center

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

MuCCC's mission "is to provide a theater to performers who do not have a permanent space, to attract new audiences to theater, and to provide theater at a low cost to the public" (via muccc.org). Find out about upcoming performances on their website.

Find it: Website, Map


RAPA & Kodak Center

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

RAPA, Rochester Association of Performing Arts "is Upstate New York’s oldest and largest professional school of performing arts for all ages" (via rapatheatre.org).

RAPA, along with other production companies that rent the space, take center state at Kodak Center for Performing Arts.

Find it: Website, Map


Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! 

RAPA brings it back Old School with Kodak

RAPA-Kodak-Theatre1.jpg

Kodak Center for the Performing Arts 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.

Eastman Business Park

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 Rochesteriat

The colors, the wood paneling, the wallpaper, the carpets, it was like a time capsule of Kodak's heyday.

Kodak

Retro bathrooms.

the Rochesteriat

Escalators and elevators to every floor.

the Rochesteriat

A gymnasium and employee fitness center.

Kodak History

And a huge cafeteria with Kodak's history still on the walls.

the Rochesteriat

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.

the Rochesteriat

We saw original signs to labs, offices, and darkrooms.

the Rochesteriat

And many conference rooms throughout the building that are now rent-able spaces.

the Rochesteriat

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.

Kodak Center for the Performing Arts

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.

the Rochesteriat

Kodak Theatre boasts the largest stage in Rochester...

the Rochesteriat

...10 dressing rooms...

the Rochesteriat

...and a green room with direct access to the stage, with George always watching of course.

the Rochesteriat

There's even space for an orchestra!

the Rochesteriat

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.

the Rochesteriat

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.


[mappress mapid="99"]