The 2nd floor Klinkhart Hall Opera House closed in 1911 after a tragic fire. (In 1913 it became the local Masonic Lodge.) In the 1920s the first floor became “Smalley’s Movie Theatre.” It’s still there, abandoned for 60 years, and full of empty seats. But that is going to change!
photos by Wjinanda Deroo, Yvonne Gardner, Christine Harris, Sarka Kalusova, & Heidi Meka
We don’t know yet if we will ultimately restore these fine vintage seats (yes, it can be done!) or replace them with new seating. We certainly will restore them if we can, but it may be necessary to install new seats that — how to put this? — better accommodate 21st-century physiques!
Either way, restored or new, we first have to get the historic Klinkhart Hall restoration project underway, and that’s what the Take-A-Seat Campaign is all about!
How does the take-a-seat campaign work?
For a $1,000 donation, campaign participants will have an engraved metal plaque permanently installed on one of the 150+ seats in the renovated 1st floor theater. Donors can use their plaque to honor, memorialize, or recognize a friend or family member, or even a business or organization.
Seat plaques will be installed once the theater reopens in phase 3 of the restoration. Until then, names will be included on a special “Donors’ Honor Roll” in the 1st floor lobby.
Even after your plaque is installed, you’ll remain on the honor roll when it moves to a more prominent and permanent location in the restored Klinkhart Hall.
Frequently asked questions
How will my contribution be used?
Funds raised through the Take-A-Seat Campaign will provide cash-on-hand for phase 1 of the restoration, which — if all goes well — will get us into the 2nd floor Performance Hall in late 2022. Then, in phase 3, we’ll install your plaque on a seat in the 1st-floor theater as a permanent tribute.
Can I pick my seat?
Seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis. We will do our best to accommodate requested seating locations, but we cannot guarantee a specific location for your plaque.
Will I be able to sit in my seat(s) at performances?
Not necessarily. The Take-A-Seat Campaign does not include a seat license and we cannot guarantee that the seat(s) with your plaque will be available for a particular ticketed performance.
I have already donated; can you apply that gift to the Take-A-Seat Campaign?
We sincerely thank you for supporting us, but the answer is no. All donations are important, appreciated, and honored, but the purpose of this campaign is to attract new donations to support the ambitious and costly restoration project for historic Klinkhart Hall.
What if I can’t Take-A-Seat now; can I still donate to the restoration effort?
Yes, you can! All donations count; all donations make a difference, and all donations earn a place on the “Klinkhart Hall Honor Roll.” Click here to donate any amount by credit card (via PayPal — no account required), or send your check to Klinkhart Hall Arts Center, PO Box 101, Sharon Springs, NY 13459.
How do I join the Take-A-Seat Campaign?
It’s simple. Click the button below to get started!