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Reg Lenna Civic Center - Jamestown, New York
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Szuchie
N 42° 05.795 W 079° 14.335
17T E 645630 N 4662000
Quick Description: The Reg Lenna Civic Center was first opened on February 5, 1923 as the Palace Theatre, a "High Class Vodvil" house. Here, films (usually a short comedy plus a feature) were shown before and after the twice-a-day vaudeville performances.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 3/10/2008 7:55:34 AM
Waymark Code: WM3BMC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 53

Long Description:
According to the Center's website:

The Reg Lenna Civic Center was first opened on February 5, 1923 as the Palace Theatre, a "High Class Vodvil" house. Films, usually a short comedy plus a feature, were shown before and after the twice-a-day vaudeville performances. Three years later Nikitas Dipson bought the facility and continued with film and vaudeville shows. In 1930 Dipson leased the Palace to Warner Brothers for 20 years. For a short time the format of films and vaudeville was continued, but live performances were slowly downplayed to emphasize the cinema. By 1934 films were the only entertainment available on a regular basis. In 1950 Warner terminated their lease and Dipson Theatres, still the owners, once again took over management. The Palace was remodeled by installing new heating and cooling systems, carpeting, wall coverings and new seats. At the reopening Dipson reaffirmed his intention to feature not only first run films of the best quality, but also stage shows, orchestras and vaudeville. In 1956, Forever Darling, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, had it's world premiere at The Palace. With the passing years fewer and fewer people attended the theater, equipment was wearing out, and the building needed repairs. On September 10, 1981, the last movie was shown: The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.

In June of 1981, Harry Chapin gave the first live show in the theatre in 25 years. During the concert, both performer and audience got rained on.Some people in the balcony were using umbrellas! Harry Chapin pledged to come back and do a fund raiser if the people would organize to save the building. Tragically, Chapin died six months later, but he had started the process. A group of citizens, with the help of the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency and the Gebbie Foundation, banded together to repair and clean up the old theatre. By October 1982 the Palace was once again ready to host live performances to "test" where there was enough interest to warrant further renovation. In February 1986 a 3.35 million dollar campaign was started to completely renovate the old Palace. The Reginald and Elizabeth Lenna Foundation made an early donation of one million dollars and one year later, when the goal for funds was met and surpassed, the Palace was officially renamed the Reg Lenna Civic Center.

Renovation, which began in 1989, included taking out all the seats for reupholster, recontruction of the orchestra pit, new stage lighting andequipment, new curtains, new house lights, handicapped seating created, new floor coverings, original artwork repaired and cleaned, new stage entrance, new heating and cooling systems, and a new stage floor. The grand reopening was held October 12, 1990.

The beautifully restored 1,269 seat Reg Lenna Civic Center received an award from the League of Historic American Theatres for the quality and workmanship of its restoration. It boasts a 35' movie screen, state of the art projection and sound equipment, and a Steinway 9' Model D concert grand piano. The Reg Lenna Civic Center is host to the Lucy-Desi Days Lucy-Desi Days celebration Memorial Day Weekend and Lucy's birthday celebration in August.


Reg Lenna Box Office Hours:

Reg Lenna Box Office Phone Number is: (716) 484-7070
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - 11AM to 5PM
Wednesday thru Friday - 10AM to 5PM

The Box Office opens one hour before each performance.

Physical address:

Reg Lenna Civic Center
116 East Third Street
Jamestown, New York 14701
Theater Name: Reg Lenna Civic Center

Country: USA

Address:
116 East Third Street
Jamestown, NY USA
14701


Web Site: [Web Link]

Venue: Other (specify in narrative)

Type of Productions:
Multi-use Facility


Date of Construction: 1923

Stage Type: Amphitheater

Seating Capacity: 1269

Special Productions/Events/Festivals:
The Reg Lenna Civic Center is host to the Lucy-Desi Days Lucy-Desi Days celebration Memorial Day Weekend and Lucy's birthday celebration in August.


Restored Building: Not Listed

Architect/Designer: Not listed

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