THE LITTLE’S HISTORIC MAIN THEATER REOPENS FEB. 14 WITH IMPROVED LOBBY, CONCESSION AREA, AND ART DECO AWESOMENESS
(Rochester, NY) February 4, 2020 – An iconic fixture in Rochester’s East End is back.
The Little’s historic main theater (240 East Ave.) will reopen Friday, Feb. 14 following the most recent phase of its restoration project. This stage includes lobby improvements, the installation of an elevator, the addition of two green rooms, a new kitchen, and more. The goal of the rehabilitation project is to provide The Little with modern amenities that increase audience enjoyment and accessibility, while staying true to The Little’s historic, art deco aesthetic. Rochester’s Bero Architecture designed the restoration project, and Rochester's UDN Inc. also worked on the project.
The East Avenue building closed Feb. 24, 2019 for the project, while The Little’s four additional theaters located off of Winthrop Street, along with its café, remained open. Note: While not open full-time, the East Avenue spot has hosted select events since the aforementioned Oscars 2019 date, including a sold-out show from Rochester Music Hall of Famer Joe Locke in November, and a sold-out 40th anniversary screening of The Shining in January.
Opening events for the public:
7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14: A screening of When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Tickets ($7 general admission, including a very romantic 2 for $14 for the 2/14 show) are now on sale at thelittle.org and at the box office for the classic romantic-comedy starring Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, and Carrie Fisher.
8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 (Doors open at 7 p.m.): The Little Concert Series presents … Hubby Jenkins
Country blues star and multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins, who plays the old-time banjo, guitar, rhythm bones, and other instruments, was formerly a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Tickets: $20 advance/$25 day of the show are available online at thelittle.org and at the box office.
12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16: Little Open House
An open house for the public to check out the freshly renovated Little Theater 1 (240 East Ave.).
- Modified the Theater 1 lobby by expanding into the side storefronts (including the former Orange Glory location) to improve ticket queueing, providing an improved concessions area in the east storefront.
- Repurposed the inner lobby as a lounge, repaired overall building structure, rehabilitated the primary facade elements including Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and egress improvements.
- Installation of a “lula” elevator (a limited use/limited application hybrid of a commercial elevator and a lift) for access to all three floors of the building.
- Kitchen area renovations, including the addition of two green rooms, plus an ADA accessible third floor restroom (The Little Business Office is on the third floor).
The historic building, which opened October 17, 1929, showed signs of increasing deterioration throughout the years. The restoration project was needed to make sure The Little continues to provide the community with films, panel discussions, live music, art, and more.
Background information on previous phases of the theater 1 restoration: Improvements over the previous seven years also include the renovation of the famous Little Marquee in June 2017. Other additions: New seats, stage, and sound system in the Theater 1 auditorium added in summer 2018. Improvements over the past seven years include the addition of digital projection equipment in all five theaters, a refurbished 35-millimeter projector to show archival films, hearing loops, new seating, and upgraded restroom facilities.