The Bardavon 1869 Opera House and the Ulster Performing Arts Center/Broadway Theater, two glorious theaters destined to share a parallel existence - the older coming of age with a movie palace makeover in the 20s, and the younger born in that heyday of the silver screen. Mid-nineteenth century saw some sprucing up as the Bardavon’s interior was varnished with a dose of “moderne” in 1947, and in 1953 the Broadway’s façade was adorned with that now-signature neoclassical portico. The 70s found both theaters in a downtown downward-spiral, but each was retrieved from demolition by those who cared, restored to operation, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After decades of sharing the spotlight as the Hudson Valley’s leading performance venues, the Bardavon and the Ulster Performing Arts Center/Broadway Theater were joined.
In 2007, the Bardavon merged UPAC into our corporate and management structure to bring more diverse and stellar performances to a greater Hudson Valley audience. As the Bardavon’s “second stage”, UPAC offers ample space, not only a 1,500 seat capacity (the Bardavon seats 944), but also two expansive lobbies and the Encore Room with adjoining courtyard for public events. Over the years, more than $8 million has been spent on capital renovations and improvements for the Bardavon. We now concentrate our resources on continuing to restore, preserve and upgrade the UPAC maximizing its safety, comfort, and accessibility for all.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey’s comment, “Without some sort of financial assistance, the Broadway Theater (UPAC) may only be preserved in memories”, continues as a call to action. Generous grants from government and private sector sources supported preliminary phases of our capital improvement plan for UPAC. Summer 2006 saw the restoration of the storefronts and masonry of the façade building. This work was supported by a HUD grant through Congressman Hinchey together with NYS Legislature Member Item and Community Capital Assistance Program (C-Cap) grants initiated by Senator Bill Larkin and Senator John Bonacic, as well as CDBG funding through the City of Kingston. Congressman Hinchey also secured substantial HUD funding toward the recent stagehouse renovation at the Bardavon. A NYS C-Cap grant sponsored by Senator Stephen Saland provided for electrical phases of the Bardavon stagehouse project which was also aided through a NYS Member Item from Assemblyman Thomas Kirwan.
In 2007 the relocation/upgrade of UPAC’s auditorium sound mix station to make way for an orchestra level wheelchair seating area was made possible by a major combined capital/program grant from the Dyson Foundation. In 2008 a New York State C-Cap grant through Assemblyman Kevin Cahill funded the renovation of the UPAC’s projection booth with the anticipated acquisition of a new 35mm projection system aimed at the addition of a film series for UPAC in 2008-09.
Also in summer 2008 UPAC’s façade/portico/stagehouse roof replacement was accomplished along with some emergency masonry repair/restoration and other assorted projects. These were funded by a NYS Environmental Protection Fund Grant with support from Senators Saland, Larkin and Bonacic as well as Assemblymen Kirwan and Cahill; NYS Legislature Member Item funding from Senator John Bonacic; NYSCA Capital Grant; as well as the Dyson Foundation. Next is an intense drive to fund and complete a daunting punch list of projects for UPAC: further masonry repair/restoration, emergency exit upgrades, renovation of the Encore Room and courtyard, more auditorium wheelchair seating, renovation/expansion of the balcony-level restrooms, construction of a new lobby concourse annex to accommodate major expansion/accessibility upgrade of the orchestra level restrooms, and HVAC upgrades.We are currently seeking funding for these next phases of work, and we are always endeavoring to provide our audiences with the very best theater experience possible.
© 2016 Bardavon/UPAC
Last modified: 2009-05-18 14:39:59