St. George Theatre Restoration, Inc.

Rating: 4.92 stars   13 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 35 Hyatt Street Staten Island NY 10301 USA

Mission: The St. George Theatre Restoration, Inc. (formerly the Richmond Dance Ensemble, Inc.) is absolutely committed to providing an authentic theatre experience for everyone. Originally formed to oversee the restoration of this historic theatre and to develop the theatre as a multi-purpose performance arts facility, the theatre also strives to promote programming that serves people of all ages, with & without disabilities; reflects the ethnic & cultural diversity of its audiences, and serves as an informational resource. It manages a performing arts series that features national tours and regional theatrical companies; arts education programs for students in grades Pre K - 12; hosts activities & events for other community-based nonprofit groups and connects local artists to audiences. The theatre’s summer arts & literacy program provides free dance training for children ages 9 - 18 from socially and/or economically challenged homes. Its popular ticket subsidy program operates in concert with social service agencies to offer under-served groups and individuals an opportunity to experience live theatre regardless of their ability to pay.
Results: The popular appeal of its programs succeeds in getting people into the theatre, not just from Staten Island and the tri-state area but also from around the world.
Target demographics: The St. George Theatre Restoration, Inc. is committed to cultivating and nurturing the widest possible audience for the arts.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 83,000
Programs: Ticket Subsidy Program Summer Arts & Literacy Program

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Wonderful! For the past two summers my daughter has attended the summer outreach program in August. She learned all about dance and theatre. They also learned about famous dancers, artists, preparing for careers in the arts. They received books about famous dancers, careers, etc. and had a reading teacher to help them understand what they were learning. Two years ago Ailey II came to visit the group for a master class and performance. Then last year a Japanese Dance Company came in to teach them and also put on a performance. At the end of the program the children performed for everyone and they received special awards. All I can say is that my daughter enjoys this program every August. It is educational, enriching and motivating to these young boys and girls. I'm so happy this theatre was saved!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Watching my daughter experience the arts in a positive way. She loves going to the theatre -- the St. George Theatre!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, sincere, and very professional. The staff is amazing and you always feel welcome.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

restore the second mezzanine with new seating, hand rails and floor lighting for the stairs. The theatre needs a new marquee and new carpeting. They need new doors too.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

The St. George Theatre is an absolute gem! This 1929 movie palace is the last surviving theatre of its kind on Staten Island that is in near original condition. The St. George is one of only a handful of theatres left in existence designed by Eugene DeRosa (who once worked with famed theatre architect Thomas Lamb). The ornate plaster carvings, ceiling murals and stained glass chandeliers are priceless. Two of the best programs currently offered are the children's educational shows and the Night of Theatre. The childrens shows allow schools from the surrounding area to visit the theatre for a reduced ticket price of $7.00. Without this program, many of these children would never have the opportunity to experience live theatre. The Night of Theatre does the same thing for local senior citizens who would not otherwise be able to attend a show due to their limited fixed incomes. The St. George Theatre is definately a local landmark worth saving!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

hire staff; hire craftsmen to restore priceless plaster-work and murals; replace the 80 year old doors; install new carpeting throughout to match the original; restore the lower-level lounge; get projection booth working to allow showing of classic films

Ways to make it better...

more corporate sponsors came onboard to allow the completion of the restoration. A new marquee, railings in the mezzanine and painting of the mezzanine walls back to their original colors would all be great!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding. Theatre is currently under-staffed, making it difficult for 2 or 3 people to do the jobs that other similar theatres have 25 people doing. Also, endowments are needed to fund the day to day maintenance required for an 80 year old building.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

The St George Theatre has brought new vibrance to the community. The beauty of the theatre and the wonderful atmosphere is very inviting. It provides the community with a destination that can be enjoyed by all ages.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The energy and dedication of the staff and board members.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

The St. George Theatre encompasses the beauty and granduer of an often neglected and age old social experience. Those evenings of entering the receiving hall of a beautiful theatre and hearing the sounds of an orchestra tuning up and serving as the backdrop of the many conversations taking place. Of seeing old friends and making new ones. The buildings architecture as large as it can be yet feeling intimate, with ample hallways and grand stairs. Offering comfortable seating with wonderful sightlines that have all been painstakenly refurbished to its original glory. Not only does this enhance the myriad of wonderous shows and events but encourages the social interaction among its patrons that is enjoyed and appreciated by all. A true community destination of art, culture and theatre that has been missing for a long time.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the care and dedication exhibited by the owners in trying to provide a viable and meaningful community resource.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I've had the pleasure of seeing several shows at the St. George Theatre. Although I live in Massachussets, my daughter and her family live in Staten Island and have taken me to the St. George on many occasions. I was blown away by the beauty and grandeur of the theatre. It has been painstakingly restored by an amazing family, but the theatre is still in need of capital repairs/improvements. I am so thankful that my grandchildren have the opportunity to experience the magic of the St. George Theatre. What I love most about the place is the warm, intimate atmosphere. The acoustics are AMAZING! In January, Tony Bennett put down his microphone and sang "Fly Me to the Moon" with only an acoustic guitar accompanying him. It was a breath-taking performance, and really highlighted the greatness of the theatre. As a patron of the arts, I can say the people of Staten Island are very very fortunate to have a gem like this in their backyards.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

warm and inviting. Each and every person I met who is involved in the St. George Theatre really made me feel special, and appreciated my attendance at a show or concert.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make necessary capital improvements~~ new carpeting, railings on the steep mezzanine stairs, new bathrooms to accomodate the number of patrons, a new marquis.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

A visit to the St. George Theatre on Staten Island brings you back to the grand days of majestic theaters in America. This 1929 jewel has been painstakingly restored and brought to life by a mother and her two daughters and is a simply remarkable story. The non-profit has a strong but small board right now, and the theater is run by the family that saved the place. They greet just about every one of the 1,800 guests who fill the space for every show. People walk in to the building, which is somewhat non-descript from the outside, and are mesmerized by the stunning grandeur as they are whisked back in time. Performers like Tony Bennett who play there now marvel. Last month, he told the "any city fathers out there...don't ever let this place become an insurance company building. They just don't exist anymore." Shows range from smallere one for school chidlren to annual Christmas spectacuoars to shows like Tony bennett, Art Garfunkel, doo wopp, country/western and on and on.....It is a place that has been saved but needs loving care each day.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

enjoying concerts by major entertainers in my own home tow,

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find benefactors who would love the place as much as so many on Staten Island do and help us create an endowment.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching people enter the space and marvel at its beauty.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

spectacular. They try to do anything and everything to make the experience the best.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

be the best historic theater on the East Coast and perhaps the country. The people involved have given their hearts and souls. Now we just need that 10 million to do the capital renovbations that would make the hteater shine like the day it opened in 1929

Ways to make it better...

the parking was a bit easier.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

You don't know what you have until you lose it. We have lost so many wonderful historic landmarks in New York. We DO NOT want to lose this one.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

The St. George Theatre is one of a unique story. I'm amazed at how one family took this venue over and turned it around and made it the premier performing arts venue on Staten Island. They saved it for the community and all of NY and surrounding areas are enjoying it. It has been restored to it's original glory and better. There are very few historic theatres across the US. I bring my children there often and their mouths drop in awe at the architecture and beauty...not to mention the wonderful shows. My family still can't believe that the theatre is up and running again and that it's even better than the way my parents remember it. They love it and are so proud of this piece of history right in our own backyards. The shows are top notch....A+ talent and the theatre outshines any NYC Broadway theatre. Event the artists mention that from the stage. They all comment on what a beautiful venue and Tony Bennett who has graced the stage 3 times say's it's a "World Class Theatre" that he loves! What these ladies have done is amazing. Since the closing of the theatre in the 70's many have made attempts to restore this venue and all have failed until these courageous talented, dedicated ladies rolled up their sleeves and sacrificed everything to make this dream alive. Kudos to this family. I have followed their journey from the beginning and know it was not an easy road. They did what everyone said they couldn't and went thru some very rocky times and lots of red tape. I used to feel terrible reading their struggles in the papers and are now so proud of what they have accomplished. My three daughters have also attended the theatre on school trips. Their educational programs are great and I'm so happy the school system is taking advantage of this. Not only do the children get to see a great educational show but they experience a peice of history by going on a class trip there. They also offer tours and Q&A workshops after the show. The children are usually in awe at the beauty of the theatre. Nothing else matches it and they certainly don't build like this anymore. Where else would our children experience such architecture, beauty, history and not to mention great entertainment?

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The venue itself and the warm staff.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

So hospitable. I don't feel as if I were at some corporate arena.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Buy them railings, lights and carpet upstairs in the mezzanine sections. My parents are elderly and can not sit upstairs because of this. The steps are steep and the theatre was never built with railings. They really need carpet and lights up there too

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I can't tell you how much I love the St. George Theatre! I have taken my children to their family shows, like the Wizard of Oz and the Christmas Show, and we keep coming back for more! I know that my children have a better understanding and appreciation of live theatre and the arts. The St. George goes above and beyond to make the live-theatre experience a special one for those yound and old. For example, all of the shows feature live music, and special events like meeting the cast for autographs at the end of the shows. In this economic climate, all patrons should appreciate that the cost of seeing a performance at the St. George is a fraction of what it would be to take your children to Manhattan. Indeed this theatre outshines most Manhattan theatres by a wide margin. I have also seen wonderful performances there with my friends...like Tony Bennett, Art Garfunkle and KD Lang. One show is better than the next. The St. George is really a true Staten Island gem. :)

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

warm, selfless and dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make much needed capital improvements to restore the theatre. For example, the paint is peeling on the ceiling, the steps leading to the balcony are quite steep and need railings.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

This theatre is amazing. Architecturally it is unmatched in it's restored grandure and it is a beacon of history, culture and the performing arts for the local community on Staten Island and the entire city of new york and surrounding region. the shows and acts that headline there are class A and the team that manages the theatre makes every customer feel like they are at home while inside this beautiful venue.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

accomplish both capital improvements to better accomodate the needs of individual artists and larger shows while expanding programing to reach audiences of younger age and older age.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

The theatre is a gem for Staten Islanders and beyond. The architectural beauty has been restored to it's glory days. The theatre has provided children with cultural events and dance training. I have been to shows featuring the communities children dancing. This gives the kids a real feel of the stage and provides inspiration of talent. The yearly gala is the most celebrated event with legendary stars like Tony Bennett (by the way hasn't missed a beat) and Neal Sedaka. Thanks you to Mrs. Rosemary (a Staten Island legend) and her daughters who provide us with entertainment in a beautiful setting.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the talent and the personal touch the staff provides.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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