From its 1925 genesis as a vaudeville stage through its transformation to a modern movie house in the 1940s to its present day role as the region’s premier performing arts center, the Clemens Center has always reflected the Southern Tier’s need for cultural enrichment. More than a decade ago, a Facilities Master Plan was created to guide the organization in maintaining and improving this valuable community asset. Major work was accomplished in two phases:
Phase 1 was completed in 1999. Highlights included:
- Renovating and expanding the lobby space to include amenities such as restrooms, an elevator, concessions and a coat check.
- Increasing patrons’ safety and accessibility by creating a vehicle approach to the theater.
- Enhancing the audience’s experience and comfort by improving the heating, air conditioning and electrical systems of Powers Theater.
- Creating a more distinctive image with the use of exterior signage (including a marquee – a first for the Clemens Center) and related lighting/site work.
- Giving a glimpse of what was yet to come in Phase 2 of our plan with decorative painting in Powers Theater.
Phase 2 was completed in 2008. Highlights included:
- Expanding the depth of the Powers Theater stage from 32′ to 45′ in order to accommodate large-scale touring productions and adding a truck ramp/loading dock.
- Augmenting audio and lighting systems and enlarging the orchestra pit in Powers Theater.
- Reconfiguring the Powers Theater seating to conform to ADA requirements, and to improve audience sightlines and comfort.
- Renovating the Powers Theater audience chamber décor, including rebuilding opera boxes that were removed in the 1940s.
- As a result of these renovations, the Clemens Center’s facilities are state-of-the-art, enabling us to offer the most current productions in a sparkling clean, comfortable environment that honors our rich architectural legacy.