The what at where?

This morning University of Rochester President Joel Seligman announced that Eastman Theatre will be officially renamed “Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.”

It’s all about money. The Eastman Kodak Company is committing $10 Million to an on-going renovation project that includes the construction of box seats and a larger lobby. When renovations are complete, “Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre” will seat 2,250 and be less of a cave.

The question is, will the new name stick?

Usually such monikers fail in real life. A few years back, officials renamed a local mall (the Greece Mall) “The Mall at Greece Ridge Center.” Too many words. I have yet to hear someone actually call it that. On the other hand, the old War Memorial in Rochester has been successfully converted into Blue Cross Arena in the public’s consciousness, over the objections of veteran’s groups.

But I don’t think “Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre” will stick.



Dub the Halls

No one will use the whole name, I'm sure, but "Kodak Hall" might stick, especially if the PR people use it aggressively. It's even kind of useful, given that there are other performance halls at Eastman (Kilbourn, Hanson).

I Wish Kodak would sponsor my house...

The Kodak Home at Pine Tree Point on Irondequoit Bay. Not to be confused with Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center!

What's in a Name?

How often have you heard "I went to "The Eastman" last night to see ...? There is a lot of value in a name and, at least for me, the RPO plays at The Eastman. I think it will take an awful lot of expensive PR to get the public to refer to it as Kodak Hall.

That money is better spent on the improvements to make "The Eastman" a better showcase for the RPO and other talented performers.

Kodak Hall

Simon, I like your idea. Thanks for making me laugh!

I'm hearing a variety of opinions, but the general consensus seems to be that $10 million is a lot of money in hard economic times, so why not? At least Kodak has some connection to the history of the Theatre, and you might argue that the renaming is the next logical step for the company George Eastman founded. I heard yesterday that the RPO will dedicate its upcoming performance of Orff's Carmina Burana to Kodak CEO Antonio Perez since it's a particular favorite of his.

"Hail, world, so rich in joys! I will be obedient to you because of the pleasures you afford."