ITHACA, N.Y. –– The State Theatre of Ithaca is launching the SAVE YOUR SEAT campaign, a new public fundraising initiative to help close the budget gap the Coronavirus shutdown has created. The not-for-profit organization that owns and operates Tompkins County’s last remaining historic performing arts venue has had all of their live performances postponed or canceled since the middle of March. As a result, the theater has lost 100% of its show-related revenue.
“The State Theatre has been an iconic institution in downtown Ithaca for over 90 years,” said Executive Director Doug Levine. “The pandemic has forced our closure, and our industry will be among the last to re-open. We are dedicated to coming back as soon as it’s safe for us to do so, but we are facing the devastating financial impact of a prolonged closure in the meantime.”
The State Theatre of Ithaca is inviting their friends, patrons, partners and supporters to take part in an exciting opportunity to support the historic venue in an affordable, meaningful way. For just $100 per seat, the SAVE YOUR SEAT initiative allows anyone to have a personalized plaque affixed to a seat in their honor, offering a visible way to commemorate their support of this vital arts venue. To support your State Theatre of Ithaca and to SAVE YOUR SEAT head to www.stateofithaca.org/save-your-seat
Levine explains, “Without show revenue to help sustain this facility, we are looking at a deficit close to $160,000 for this fiscal year. The State Theatre of Ithaca seats 1,600 people. If 1,600 of our amazing supporters and patrons bought at least 1 seat for $100 each, that would help us close the gap that the pandemic has created. Our goal is to sell out the Theatre, just like we have so many times in the past.”
Rob Gearhart, President of the State Theatre’s Board of Directors, states, “Ensuring the State Theatre of Ithaca can continue operations is not only critical for those who enjoy our beautiful performance space, but also to the many downtown businesses that benefit from those audiences. Venues like ours draw locally and from the region, so these crowds fill restaurants, bars, hotels, and shops, and are economic generators for the community. We’re proud to be a major contributor to the vibrant and successful arts and entertainment scene in Ithaca.”
In conjunction with this initiative, The Theatre is also announcing a very special online benefit concert set for Giving Tuesday – December 1st, 2020. The SAVE YOUR SEAT – “Giving Tuesday” Benefit Concert will feature performances from a wide range of nationally acclaimed artists that have a deep connection to Ithaca and The State Theatre. With assistance from their Exclusive Talent Buyer, DSP Shows, they have already lined up distinguished artists such as Graham Nash, The Avett Brothers, Keb Mo, Béla Fleck, Margo Price, The Wood Brothers, Sam Harris of X Ambassadors and more. The free, online event sponsored by CFCU Community Credit Union will stream simultaneously on The State Theatre of Ithaca’s Facebook page as well as their YouTube channel.
State Theatre of Ithaca Inc. is the 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that owns and operates Tompkins County’s last remaining historic theatre. Their mission is to enhance the cultural life of Ithaca and the Finger Lakes by preserving, operating and promoting the historic State Theatre as an active venue for national, international and community performances and programming. Originally opened in 1928, the not-for-profit State Theatre of Ithaca depends on community support to host over 85 events a year including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Performers, world-renown classical composers, hilarious comedians, community performances and classic films. The building is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places — one of fewer than 100 theaters of its kind left in the U.S.
All proceeds raised from the SAVE YOUR SEAT fundraising campaign and benefit concert will help sustain the not-for-profit State Theatre of Ithaca, as they strive to remain at the center of Central New York’s performing arts scene while their doors remain closed. For more information or to SAVE YOUR SEAT head to www.stateofithaca.org/save-your-seat