Backstage Breakdown: The St. George Theater
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Backstage Breakdown: The St. George Theater

An Inside Look at the Staten Island Landmark

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Backstage Breakdown: The St. George Theater
Kaitlyn Casserly

Arts and Entertainment are huge in New York City, from Radio City Music Hall, to Broadway, and Off-Broadway shows in between. However, there is also entertainment in the smallest of places, like the other Boroughs of the Big Apple. There's King's Theatre in Brooklyn, Queen's Theatre in well, Queens, and here in Staten Island, The St. George Theatre. Of course, there are many more to find, so these are just a few examples.

You'll find the St. George Theatre just steps away from the Staten Island Ferry up on Hyatt Street, in the center of the istoric St. George District. Some local taverns, bakeries and restaurants line the strip up to the small steps into the Theatre itself. From the outside, it may appear as just another office building, but the inside is full of rich history, and beautiful decor. Once you've stepped through the sets of double doors, you enter into a red carpeted lobby. You'll find posters and box office windows promoting upcoming shows. On a busy night, you'll be met at the doors of the main lobby, and be greeted by staff scanning your ticket.

The Main lobby is decked with historic architecture, paintings, and snacks and refreshements to enjoy throughout the evening. To get to your seat, you'll either proceed through the lower level doors, or up the main staircases to the second floor filled with lower and upper mezzanine seating. For a sold out show, you can find up to 1903 seats filled, and still have a great view!

If you've watched a show, you may notice the art that lines the cielings, and the architecture around the stage, but what else is there to be found inside the double doors, on the other side of the curtains and behind the architecture?

A Brief History: Fun Facts


The St. George Theater opened it's doors on December 4th, 1929, having been designed and built by Eugene De Rosa as main architech, and assisted by James Whitford, known as "The Dean of Staten Island Architechs". The theatre's Spanish and Italian Baroque revival style interior was designed by Nestor Castro.

2. The first movie to play was “So This Is College” and the headline “live” act was the husband and wife team of Blossom Seeley and Benny Fields. The movie and vaudeville format featured performers such as Al Jolson, Kate Smith and Guy Lombardo.

3. The theatre was sold in 1938 to the Fabian Theater chain who continued to operate it as a movie palace until 1977.

4. The finale of the 2003 film “School of Rock” was filmed at the theatre during a few years attempt to revive the theater as a performing arts center.

5.In 2004 a not-for-profit organization was formed to save this historic theatre from being torn down by Rosemary Cappozalo with her daughters, Luanne Sorrentino, and Doreen Cugno. Mrs. Rosemary was a prominent dance educator, and donated her life savings (over one million dollars) to the organization and “saved” the St. George Theatre.


A Look Inside: Behind the Scenes


When you first walk through the doors you can find the box office where tickets and information are given.

Seating has seen updates made throughout the years with addition of the Richmond County Foundation Circle on the lower level, with new seating being installed to the Second Mezzanine Sections on the upstairs level coming in early 2018.

Many beautiful pieces of the original architecture can be seen throughout every corner of the theater.

Backstage lies several floors of Dressing Rooms used by performers for shows such the Annual Christmas Show, Comedians, Music Acts and other Entertainers.

Along the Walls of the Dressing Room Hallways you can find signatures from actors and performers who have stepped on stage at the St. George Theater.

Dressing Rooms vary with each floor, and per room. Some have tables with mirrors and lights, some are more private, and the top level has an open room with several couches and seating spaces.

When you take a look around, there is a lot of history to be seen. The theater has undegone much restoration and has brought in many acts over the years. It serves as a popular source of entertainment for locals and out of towners and has also provided Outreach Programs to the community. If you think about spending a night out and can't make it to the performances on Broadway, why not go local and see a St. George Theater Show?

For a list of shows and upcoming events check out their website at

https://www.stgeorgetheatre.com/

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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