The Dryden Theatre, located at the George Eastman Museum, in Rochester, New York, is the main venue for viewing the museums extensive collection of motion pictures including restored films from the museum's collection, classic films, new independent films and foreign films. The theater, which opened in 1951, was named after George Eastman's niece, Ellen Dryden. It is one of only a handful in the world certified to project nitrate film. The 500 seat theater offers daily screenings at $8 a ticket for visitors, $6 for members. "Dryden Kids" screenings are free for ages 17 & under. Screenings are offered as early as 11 a.m. and as late as 8 p.m. A two month listing of events at the Dryden is available at the museum; in the "City" newspaper and online at eastman.org
Viewing a film in the Dryden is a treat. Seating is on two levels, and there's not a bad seat in the house. The talk given before the film begins is short and sweet and contains little nuggets of trivia; the volume and focus are always perfect; and beautiful satin curtains float to the ceiling before the movie begins. Each month offers movie themes; August's films featured Frankenstein, Shakespeare; the Western frontier and visitors from outer space with a few silent and foreign films offered as well.
I haven't seen audience members eating in the theater during a film, (perhaps drinking bottled water) but the Dryden does have a nice little cafe down the hall with a much nicer assortment of snacks than are usually available in other cinemas. The snack bar is tucked into a very nice movie-themed gift shop well worth exploring. If you appreciate classic movies, you will love the Dryden Theater.
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