Introducing the Jack Garner Theatre at The Little

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Introducing the Jack Garner Theatre at The Little

A late Rochester arts legend will be the first person to have one of The Little’s five theaters named after him. The Jack Garner Theatre — previously Theatre 5 — will formally be introduced in 2021.

Garner, a longtime film critic for Gannett News Services, died July 5. He was 75. Aside from his prolific writing career, Garner was also a fixture at The Little, often watching films, giving concert/movie introductions, and leading panel discussions.

A statement from Bonnie Garner, Jack’s wife of nearly 50 years:

“My husband, Jack Garner, had just been made an Honorary Trustee of the Little Theatre before he passed in July. He was so proud of that honor and wanted to help the theater that meant so much to him. Jack was the epitome of a Little Theatre supporter and member. He championed The Little as a community-based, mission driven art house. His film reviews told you what you needed to know and helped us digest the creative content we saw on screen. While that tradition has changed for many over the years, particularly during the time of COVID, Jack’s words remain, and hopefully, his passion for film lives on in you.

As The Little enters a new and ever-changing phase of growth with expansion of their online services, they maintain their commitment to be a home for meaningful community engagement, thought provoking programming, and the dynamic exchange of ideas.”

To support The Little, along with the new Jack Garner Theatre, individuals can visit If an individual gives a gift of $200 or more before Dec. 31, 2020, that supporter's name will be added to a plaque honoring Jack Garner. There will be a ceremony for the Jack Garner Theatre at a later date.