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“First Class Viewing Experience”
Review of Dryden Theatre

Dryden Theatre
Ranked #33 of 116 things to do in Rochester
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Attraction details
Owner description: The George Eastman Museum's exhibition space for showcasing its unparalleled collection of motion pictures as well as films from around the world.
Reviewed 24 August 2016

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.

Date of experience: August 2016
1  Thank NYstatevisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 34 reviews

Reviewed 24 October 2014

Seeing the original King Kong on a big screen with a velvet curtain and then having Faye Wray sit on stage, holding a cigarette, telling Hollywood tales no-holds-barred. My first visit to the Dryden in late 90's(?) That's the Dryden. Real films and often real actors, directors, producers coming afterwards to comment on the film being shown.

Date of experience: August 2014
Thank Dottie53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2014

Recently saw Capote (again) as part of their series honoring the career of Philip Seymour Hoffman. I had not been to the Dryden since its recent restoration, and was impressed with the results. Vibrant wood and colors packed into an intimate theater experience. The sound was excellent, and the movie was projected on actual film, a bit of happy nostalgia for a life-long Rochesterian. Go to their website, check out the movies they are playing, and give it a try - it's a fraction of the price and twice the fun as a larger theater chain.

Date of experience: September 2014
Thank Jonnyboy313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2014

Living here we do not realize what a treasure we have in the Dryden. The price is right, the movies are well chosen and the talk before the movie is always interesting. Food in the lithe restaurant is delicious and reasonably priced and eating before the movie makes for a delightful night out. I particularly enjoy watching the huge satin curtains go up in folds before the movie begins.

Date of experience: July 2014
1  Thank whalley54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 June 2014

This theater is an experience. There is an introduction to the film by a scholar on that particular genre, usually an intellectual audience, and you come away with a much greater appreciation of film and the moving image than you did when you arrived. The Eastman Mansion with this theater attached, provides a great variety of film and their projectors and cameras are the real deal.

Date of experience: June 2014
Thank Kathleen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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