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New hope for former Kodak Theatre on the Ridge

Updated: Tuesday, December 17 2013, 05:13 AM EST

Rochester, N.Y. – A local theater group took control Thursday of an underutilized theater at Eastman Business Park.

The Rochester Association for the Performing Arts, or RAPA, assumed management of the former Kodak Theatre on the Ridge.

The move came with a name change.

The facility is now called the Kodak Center for the Performing Arts.

The theater with its 1,964 seats is the largest in Rochester, but Kodak’s decline has left those seats empty.

This partnership between Kodak and RAPA is designed to breathe new life into the facility.

“We are well on our way toward converting this marvelous facility into a multi-function entertainment, conference and education center for the community,” said James Vollertsen, president and CEO of RAPA.

Vollertsen says the facility will be available to a number of community groups looking for performance space.

Kelly Mandarano, a spokesperson for Kodak, says the partnership will further foster the regrowth at Eastman Business Park, which now houses 47 companies.

“We feel we’re just on the cusp of really opening up this up and seeing a vibrant new generation of employers, innovators come to the park and produce the new products of the new economy,” Mandarano said.

Hillside Family of Agencies may also utilize the theater facility for vocational education, internships and jobs.

To mark the transition, Peter Pan will hit the stage Friday night.

Also, in December, a movie production company based out of New York City will create a set at Kodak Center by placing a section of a 737 airplane on stage.

Adam Chodak, 13WHAM-TV
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New hope for former Kodak Theatre on the Ridge

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