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the little theatre

WXXI

Coming soon to The Little: The Jack Garner Theatre.

The Little Theatre, the art-deco gem of downtown Rochester, is naming one of its five theaters after Garner, the longtime film critic of the Democrat and Chronicle and Gannett Newspapers.

The Little Theatre

With the COVID-19 infection rate increasing, The Little Theatre in Rochester is delaying its reopening.

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the go-ahead a few weeks ago for movie theaters in the state to reopen with restrictions, The Little planned to reopen Nov. 6.

Jason Milton/WXXI

Danielle Ponder and her band -- Avis Reese, Derek Bennett, Levi Bennet and Jonathan Sheffer -- are on the stage at The Little Theater. In front of them are 280 seats, virtually all of them empty.

This is not the gig from hell. This is the COVID-19 reality.

Warner Bros. Pictures

A murmur of excitement rolled through the area’s movie-going community, long in coronavirus limbo, when word came out early Saturday afternoon that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had just announced that theaters throughout the state – umm, except you, New York City -- could reopen as of this Friday.

The news seemed to catch everyone by surprise. Then reality hit: Restarting an industry is not as simple as firing up the popcorn machine and hitting the projector “on” switch.

Dryden Theatre

The problem with our new reality is, we can’t see it from where we are now.

The new reality, of course, is COVID-19. The numbers -- more than 600,000 dead worldwide, more than 140,000 dead in the United states -- tell us the virus is not a conspiracy theory. Science tells us it’s not going to simply disappear.

WXXI

Longtime local film critic Jack Garner has died. The Democrat & Chronicle, where Garner worked for decades, says he died Sunday at the age of 75.

Garner’s wife, Bonnie, was quoted in the D&C saying they would have celebrated their 50th anniversary next month and they were planning to take international trips after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, Garner was elected an Honorary Trustee of WXXI and The Little Theatre (which is operated by WXXI).

Provided by Vertical Entertainment

"Miss Juneteenth" is one of the current virtual offerings at The Little Theatre, part of the Black Cinema Series. It's about a single mom, Turquoise Jones, a former Miss Juneteenth winner, preparing her rebellious teenage daughter to follow in her footsteps and compete in the pageant.

"One message is pride, one message is teaching history," Richard McCollough says.

The Little Theatre in Rochester has announced it will temporarily close to the public as of 5 p.m. Saturday, March 14, in response to efforts to contain the coronavirus.

An announcement from the theater, which is operated by WXXI, says that The Little will suspend all film/music programming and is closing after the Saturday matinee screenings.

Patrons who have purchased tickets in advance have the following options:

Rochester Music Hall of Fame

There was never any doubt that the Rochester Music Hall of Fame class of 2020, with five new names to be celebrated at the April induction concert, would belong to The Dady Brothers.

Few musicians here have been so highly regarded, and for as long, as the traditional folk duo. They played coffeehouses and taverns and shared stages with Pete Seeger, Tommy Makem, The Clancy Brothers and Ani DiFranco. Going back to 1979, John and Joe Dady released 11 albums as a duo, and one solo album a piece.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

What’s old is new again, at least when it comes to The Little Theatre in Rochester. 

The iconic main theater  officially reopened on Friday after the most recent phase of renovations.

The building dates back to 1929, and the upgrades that have been undertaken over the last few years include a more spacious front lobby and concession area and improvements in the building’s accessibility.

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