The Upstate Theater Coalition for a Restart, representing downtown historic theaters from Buffalo to Poughkeepsie, thank elected officials from both the Assembly and the Senate for supporting a fund to assist these theaters in the slow recovery from the Covid impacted restart.

The Assembly proposed a 20 million dollar fund and the Senate a 10 million dollar fund. Governor Kathy Hochul had proposed 350 million dollars for arts and small business recover state wide. The Assembly and Senate proposals specifically was for the major downtown theaters outside of New York City.

These recovery measures were championed by Patricia Fahy and John McDonald of Albany in the Assembly and Jeremy Cooney of Rochester in the Senate.

Linda Glosser, Executive Vice President of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League, said, “All of us wanted to start operating again as soon as we could to help our downtowns revive, then the Omicron wave hit us causing new protocols, some cancellations and new costs. This more earmarked support will really make a difference to give us the runway we need to get back to full operations.”

“The only thing more frustrating than being closed, is waiting for our audiences to feel fully able to come back,” said Philip Morris, CEO of the Proctors Collaborative in Schenectady, Albany and Saratoga. “We have to have events in our buildings, but we can only last a short time if they are financially unsuccessful. This gives us the time to get our performance feet under us!”

The Coalition includes Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, the Rochester Broadway Theatre League, the Landmark in Syracuse, the Smith in Geneva, the Clemens Center in Elmira, the State Theater in Ithaca, the Stanley Theater in Utica, the Proctors Collaborative, the Palace Performing Arts Center in Albany and the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie.

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