Saving The Theatre

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Mrs. Rosemary with her daughters

in 2004, Mrs. Rosemary Cappozalo with her daughters, Luanne Sorrentino, and Doreen Cugno, started a not-for-profit organization to save this historic theatre from being torn down. Mrs. Rosemary, a prominent dance educator, donated her life savings (over one million dollars) to the organization and “saved” the St. George Theatre. With the support from the community, business leaders, elected officials, and their board of directors, a white elephant was transformed into a beautiful, thriving, majestic theatre for Staten Island and all of New York City.

When they first entered the theatre, there was no electrical power, no plumbing, the bathroom ceilings were on the floor, large holes the size of their bodies where water was pouring through the ceilings, no orchestra seats, no carpeting, no stage lighting and no sound system. No heating system nor air-conditioning system working and only the birds and raccoons were finding comfort in the venue. Despite all the obstacles, the ladies had the theatre open in a few months. Restoration is still ongoing.

Since the theatre re-opened in June 2004, over 800 events have taken place and more than 900,000 patrons have walked the red carpet. Favorites include Tony Bennett, Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K., Liza Minnelli, Jason Mraz, k.d. lang, The B-52’s, Don McLean, Art Garfunkel, Joan Rivers, Kevin James, the Goo Goo Dolls, Wayne Newton, Chris Botti, Bobby Rydell, Yolanda Adams, Blondie, Tony Orlando, Cyndi Lauper, Rosie O’Donnell, Bret Michaels, Marc Cohn, Neil Sedaka, Lee Ann Womack, Taylor Hicks, Air Supply, New York City Opera, Ailey II, John Edwards, Howie Mandel, Brad Garrett, Jackie Mason, Jonas Brothers, Blues Clues Live, Cirque on Ice, National Broadway tours including Peter Pan, Mame, Cats, Lost in Yonkers to name a few!

The Theatre is proud to present many live performances for children from the following companies: Kennedy Center on Tour, Turnstile Entertainment, Disney/Feld Entertainment, Theaterworks USA, Arts Power, Vidal Theater, Plaza Theatricals, Surflight Theater, American Family Theater, Saiko Japanese Dance Co., Russian American Kids Circus, and Omaha Theater.

The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Borough President James Molinaro, and Councilman Michael McMahon, awarded more than $7,000,000 to the St. George Theatre Restoration Inc. to continue with important renovations including a new marquee, new lighting, sound and rigging systems in 2008. The Department of Cultural Affairs along with Borough President James Oddo, Councilman Matteo, Councilwoman Debi Rose, Assemblyman Cusick continue funding the capital improvement projects.

The re-opening of the theatre has given a major boost to the revitalization efforts of the St. George community. Through community outreach programs, tens of thousands of children, teens, and seniors have enjoyed a concert, special event, educational program / workshop, or tour at the St. George Theatre.

The St. George Theatre was inducted in Thirteen’s Community Hall of Fame for their outstanding programming and dedication to the restoration of the St. George Theatre. It has also received the Mayor’s Award for Achievement in the Arts from Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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The St. George Theatre Restoration Inc, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration of the historic theater and its development as a cultural and performing arts center for Staten Island and all of New York City by providing community outreach programs, educational programs and public performances!

The St. George Theatre is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Office of the Borough President and the Honorable Borough President James Oddo, Councilwoman Debi Rose, Councilman Steven Matteo, the former Borough President, the Honorable James P. Molinaro, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Richmond County Savings Foundation, The Staten Island Foundation, Northfield Bank Foundation, Con Edison, Gateway Arms Realty, Staten Island University Hospital, Merrill Lynch, ShopRite, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Lois and Richard Nicotra Foundation, American Guild of Variety Artists in memory of Bea Kalmus-Sher, and many business and individual donors.

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