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& culture

Schenectady is known throughout the region for its unique cultural venues and offerings. The County is home to historic Proctors Theatre, a resident ballet and symphony orchestra, two community theaters, 15 movie screens, art galleries, museums and numerous historic sites including the Stockade, New York state’s oldest historic district. When people seek entertainment, they look first to Schenectady.


arts & culture

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Schenectady is home to its own resident ballet and symphony orchestra,

tionally known performers. Catch a play at the Schenectady Civic Players, or just up the street at the Schenectady Light Opera Company. Our numerous movie screens, art galleries, special events, museums and historic sites will keep your calendar filled.


Edison Exploratorium
112 Erie Boulevard, Schenectady Celebrating and promoting the historic and physical development of engineering technology—much of which was originated, developed and produced in Schenectady. 518.372.8425

Empire State Aerosciences Museum
250 Rudy Chase Drive, Glenville New York state’s aviation history soars here! ESAM presents aviation history from the pioneer era to the jet age, with a focus on New York state. The Museum features two galleries, a hall of fame, an art gallery, research library, airpark and flight simulator. 518.377.2191

“Stockade Soirée” Origin

film and live theater venues, the new GE Theatre featuring giant Extreme Screen Iwerks motion pictures, and the glorious Proctors main stage, a restored 1926 Vaudeville theatre.

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e entertained. See an endless array of performances throughout our arts district, including shows direct from Broadway, international ballet and opera, and na-


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Heritage Area Visitor Center
Located at the Schenectady Museum Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady Features exhibits that emphasize the history of Schenectady and its importance to the electrical and railway industries. 518.382.7890 www.cityofschenectady. com

Mabee Farm Historic Site
1080 Main Street, Rotterdam Junction The oldest house in the Mohawk Valley (built in the last quarter of the 17th Century). The main farm house, the adjacent inn and the brick house have retained many original characteristics of early Dutch and French Huguenot settlers, with few design alterations. Also on the site are the Mabee Cemeterywith graves dating back to the 1700s, a blacksmith shop, English style barn, carpenters workshop and a carriage shed. 518.887.5073

arts & culture

Hamilton Hill Arts Center
409 Schenectady Street, Schenectady This Cultural Arts Center is the only one of its kind in the region, with changing exhibits of works by talented minority artists. 518.346.1262

Mandeville Gallery
Union College, Union Street, Schenectady The Mandeville Gallery on the second floor of the Nott Memorial presents art, sci-


ence, and history exhibitions throughout the year. The gallery is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary artists; addressing college, regional, national and international history; and exploring links between the arts and sciences. Past exhibitions include Norman Rockwell at the Nott; Lessons for Humanity Holocaust Exhibition; Into Focus; Arts on Science; Separate and Together Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason; and A Monument of Progress—The 175th Anniversary of the Erie Canal. The gallery is free and open to the public. 518.388.8394

cludes exhibits that showcase technology and science history, and maintains an internationally regarded archive of electrical history which contains one of the largest photograph collections in the United States. The museum also maintains a nature preserve and is home to one of the city’s finest gift shops 518.382.7890

432 State Street, Schenectady See feature on page 30 518.382.3884

Schenectady County Historical Society Museum
32 Washington Avenue, Schenectady The museum is housed in the Dora Jackson House, which was built in 1895. The three-storied building is in the Federal and Greek Revival style and is filled with an impressive collection of lovely antique furniture, paintings, china and glass. Be sure to see the doll house on the second floor, built in 1834 by Joseph Yates, once Governor of New York, for Susan Watkins. The museum houses three floors of original 18th century furniture, paintings, costumes, toys, household and military items. Also home to the Grems Doolittle Library for genealogy. 518.374.0263

Schenectady Civic Players
12 South Church Street, Schenectady The oldest continually performing theater group in the Capital Region captures hearts and minds as they perform a well-balanced mix of professional-quality theater. 518.382.2081

Schenectady Light Opera Company
826 State Street, Schenectady The Schenectady Light Opera Company is a nonprofit community theater organization dedicated to the presentation of amateur theater productions. They have presented more than 200 quality theatrical productions. Visit them now in their 260-seat theatre. 518.393.5732

Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium
Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady The region’s Science and Technology Museum offers the area’s only interactive planetarium, and provides hands-on education programs for children and adults. It in-


arts & culture

400 State Street, Schenectady Six screens, stadium seating, Dolby digital sound. 518.372.7500

Loews Rotterdam Square
Rotterdam Square Mall, Rotterdam Six screens, access through Rotterdam Square 518.374.2403

Scotia Cinema
117 Mohawk Avenue, Scotia Single screen, Independent sub-run films 518.346.5055

Music & Dance
Schenectady Symphony Orchestra
Since 1934, the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra has been steeped in the community, enhancing Schenectady’s appeal to employees, residents and visitors. As the downtown area continues its revitalization, bringing new businesses and cultural organizations to the area, the SSO takes pride in the fact that it has been an important part of the city’s past and continues to be a part of its future. 518.372.2500

Empire State Youth Orchestra
As a regional organization based in Schenectady, ESYO attracts students from over 75 public and private schools throughout eastern New York state, western Massachusetts, and southern Vermont. The most advanced group, the Youth Orchestra, regularly performs in Schenectady’s own Proctors Theatre and at other venues throughout the Capital Region, at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, and at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Performs in July and August. 518.374.5781. .65

arts & culture

Northeast Ballet
The Northeast Ballet Company, resident company of Proctor’s Theater, has been under the guidance of its founder and artistic director, Darlene Myers, since 1990. It provides a wide variety of educational and performance opportunities, while striving to produce high quality art. 518.374.0376


Proctors Theatre
State Street, Downtown Schenectady

was saved by concerned citizens in 1979 and restored to its original glory as a national treasure. Located at the heart of downtown Schenectady, the palatial 2700-seat venue presents a year-round program of world-class singers, comedians, electrifying dance programs, opera and symphony orchestras and Broadway Shows. Built for vaudeville impresario F. F. Proctor and designed by famed theater architect Thomas W. Lamb, the theater cost $1.5 million to build and opened on December 27, 1926, with a screening of “Stranded in Paris,” a silent film starring Bebe Daniels. Today, in addition to theatrical productions, Proctors is home to the Schenectady Symphony and the Northeast Ballet, and features performances by the Empire State Youth Orchestra and Chorus. It also boasts one of the largest movie screens in the state for screenings of classic and new film. In 2003, Proctors embarked on an exciting new $30 million expansion, completed in 2007. A new stage house now accommodates the largest touring Broadway shows including Phantom of the Opera, which recently drew 77,000 visitors to the theatre. A new comedy series, small plays and musical events were also added to create a more diverse facility with cultural offerings for every audience. Under the same roof, the new GE Theatre houses an Iwerks Extreme Screen system. The Iwerks system projects 2D and 3D films of unsurpassed size, clarity, and impact onto a giant 50- by 37-foot screen. The visual experience is supported by a powerful surround-sound system which also serves the GE Theatre’s use as a performance space for music, comedy and drama. The Theatre is also the centerpiece of conferencing at Proctors, where companies and organizations are inspired by the creative environment. Schenectady’s arts district radiates many blocks from the Proctors marquee. Adjacent to the theatre is 440 State, a former Odd Fellows hall, now restored as a mixed use arts facility housing Myers Studio, Northeast Ballet, a working gallery and arts classes for nearby Schenectady County Community College, and Upstairs at 440, a 100-seat vintage theater space recently rediscovered and revitalized as an intimate live theatre for dance recitals, cabaret performances and a new series of intimate, regionally-exclusive theatre performances. The third Friday of every month, local business open their doors to host and display the works of area artists at Art Night, a popular year-round event.


he undisputed jewel of Schenectady’s Arts District is Proctors, a magnificent example of the golden era of theatre architecture. This 1926 vaudeville palace, once threatened by the wrecker’s ball,

arts & culture

photo by Randell Perry



events al nu
Whatever the weekend, there’s something special happening in Schenectady; special history, sports, music and film. Turn a corner, any corner, and discover the events that make Schenectady’s neighborhoods special.

Art Night Schenectady
3rd Friday of every month 5-9 p.m. Downtown Schenectady Area artists, performers, sculptors, jewelers and potters display their work in downtown galleries and businesses. Free Trolley. 518.372.5656

another. Pyramids, barefoot skiing, ballet, ski jumping and more.

Farmers’ Markets
Held year-round in various locations throughout the county. Purchase locally-grown fresh produce, flowers and products.

Colonial Reenactment
May, Mabee Farm A reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle by more than 100 reenactors, costumed colonial settlers and demonstrations of colonial crafts. 518.877.5073

Freedom Park Concert Series
June-August, Schonowee Avenue, Scotia Enjoy free summer concerts and children’s programs along the banks of the Mohawk River. 518.372.5656

US Water Ski Show Team
Tuesday evenings in July and August, Jumpin’ Jack’s, Schonowee Avenue & Route 5, Scotia If you’re looking for a unique way to spend a summer’s evening, then come visit Schenectady’s best-kept secret, performing professional level water ski shows on the Mohawk River in beautiful Scotia. Conveniently located at Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive In, shows are held every Tuesday with practice sessions held most weekday evenings. Experience beauty, grace, thrills and raw power as the team performs one amazing act after

Cruisin’ on the Avenue
Father’s Day, Mohawk Avenue, Scotia A day-long celebration of classic cars and family fun.

arts & culture

Kids’ Arts Fest
June, Jay Street, Schenectady Continuous family entertainment. Toddler and children’s arts activities, refreshments.


Jazz on Jay
June-August, Noon-1:30 p.m. Enjoy free lunchtime concerts on Jay Street at State. 518.372.5656

celebrate the Holidays Here
Holiday on the Avenue
December, Mohawk Ave., Scotia The entire village turns out to celebrate the holiday season with this event, including shopping, entertainment, games, food and family fun.

Little Italy Street Fest
September Little Italy, North Jay Street, Schenectady An authentic festival celebrating Italian culture and heritage with sumptuous food, vendors, and entertainment. 518.382.5147

Magic and Melodies Stockade Villagers Art Show
September – Stockade Historic District This annual juried art show displays fine paintings and sculpture by more than 125 participating artists from Northeast. December State & Jay Street, Schenectady Holiday carolers, woodcarvings, crafts, carriage rides and tree lighting are highlights of this holiday offering. 518.377.9430

St. George Greek Festival
September – Liberty Street, Schenectady You don’t have to be Greek to enjoy live entertainment, delicious homemade Greek specialties, dancing and crafts. 518.382.5147

The Gazette Holiday Parade
Saturday before Thanksgiving, Downtown Schenectady Long regarded as the biggest night-time parade in the northeast, this family tradition has been bringing Schenectady families out to greet the holiday season since 1969. Nearly 40,000 people turn out each year to enjoy marching bands, lighted floats, and a personal appearance by Santa Claus! 518.372.5656

Stockade Walkabout and Waterfront Faire
September – Stockade Historic District Explore the oldest historic district in New York State, with tours of private homes and historic places, children’s activities, crafts, carriage rides, entertainment and, of course, food. 518.372.5656

Melodies of Christmas
December This musical extravaganza, featuring the Empire State Youth Orchestra, has raised more than $5 million for charitable causes in its 28-year history. 518.346.6204

November This classic 15K race has been held annually for more than 25 years. The course winds through the Stockade Historic district in all its late autumn glory. More than 1,000 participants from throughout New York State and Western New England compete.

arts & culture

Summer Night
Third Friday in July State Street & Jay Street, Schenectady A downtown festival with three stages of entertainment options, refreshments, vendors, crafts and fireworks! 518.388.4379


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