Proof of vaccination is no longer required for entry to the Smith Opera House. Masks are no longer required, though we strongly encourage their use particularly by those unvaccinated, including children. The Smith reserves the right to amend this policy as necessary, including at the request of specific artists or presenters.

The Smith Blog

SMITH HISTORY BLOG AND VIDEO: Saturday Night Fever at the Geneva Theater (1978)

Introduction and video by Karen Miltner

In 1977, the Smith Opera House, then called Geneva Theatre, wasn’t doing too well, as movie-going was in decline. While Geneva Concerts leased the building for the first half of the year, it did not have the resources to maintain a large, historic theater. Geneva Theatre closed in the summer of 1978. The city of Geneva threatened to tear the building down.

Luckily, five idealistic young men rallied together to save The Smith. They were Paul Brown, Steve Hastings, Ken Camera, Dan Belliveau and Jeff Rathaus. They and other members of the community would help form the Finger Lakes Regional Arts Council, the not-for-profit that was the forerunner to the Smith Center for the Arts.

In this video, three of the original five — Steve Hastings, Ken Camera and Dan Belliveau — shared what it was like to show the first movie in the theater when it reopened in September 1978.