Smith Opera House

Geneva, NY
Built 1894
Seats 1,400

The Opera House was built in 1894 for $39,000 by local philanthropist William Smith on a Romanesque design by Joseph Pierce and Henry Bickford. In 1929 it was purchased by Schine's Amusement Company and underwent an $500,000 interior reconstruction as a movie palace combining Art Deco and Baroque elements overseen by architect Victor Rigaumount. The house underwent a slow decline culminating in a 1978 seisure by the city for back taxes. The Finger Lakes Regional Arts Council was formed in 1979 to preserve the theatre and incremental renovations have been continuing through the present. The facility was renamed the Smith Opera House in 1983. (4/25/2006)

When a place gets boring, even the rich people leave. (Jane Jacobs)