Judge issues order putting Chautauqua Amphitheater demolition on hold

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on January 26, 2016 at 1:11 pm


A State Supreme Court judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday blocking Chautauqua Institution from taking actions leading to the demolition of the 1893 Amphitheater.

The Chautauqua Institution board voted in December to accept bids to knock down the Amphitheater and build a modern replica in its place.

“This gives us some small hope that one of America’s national treasures, and a Chautauqua National Historic Landmark, might be saved and improved for future generations,” said Brian Berg, president of the Committee to Preserve the Historic Chautauqua Amphitheater.

The ruling by State Supreme Court Judge Frank A. Sedita III will be revisited in one week, at 2 p.m. Feb. 1, when attorneys reconvene. At that time Sedita could continue the temporary restraining order, lift it, call for a hearing or grant a preliminary injunction.

“This afternoon, the New York State Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order, halting construction on our Amphitheater,” the Institution said in a statement. “We continue to move forward with planning, logistics and procurement of materials … We respect Judge Sedita’s decision and this process, and we are eager to present our side in court.”

The court filing was made by the committee and five Chautauqua residents to preserve the Amphitheater. The beloved 1893 Amphitheater has been championed by national and regional preservation organizations, and differences over its future have caused a deep rift within the usually controversy-free Institution.

Read Mark Sommer’s complete article in the Buffalo News; http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/chautauqua-county/judge-issues-order-putting-chautauqua-amphitheater-demolition-on-hold-20160125

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ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

Learn more about historic theatres in the THS American Theatre Architecture Archives and on our website at historictheatres.org

Comments (40)

ChasSmith on January 30, 2016 at 7:04 am

An issue worthy of attention, to be sure. But nothing at all to do with CINEMA, past or present.

This blog is SO in need of some guidance and oversight.

americandigger on February 23, 2016 at 3:49 pm

This is located in Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua N.Y 45 mins south of Buffalo on Chautauqua Lake. This is an amphitheater and not a theater. The Chautauqua Institution does house a small gem of a theater. The Chautauqua Cinema which began screening films in 1916.

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