The Rochester Broadway Theatre League has entered a $2.4 mil deal to purchase the entire building located on East Main and Prince Streets.
Since 2004 the RBTL has owned the theater portion of the building.
For years RBTL CEO and Board Chair, Arnie Rothschild pushed back on the idea of RBTL taking over the entire venue citing the age and limitations of the building, among other things.
Rothschild made the announcement Tuesday at a news conference.
“For a very long time, Rochester has deserved a multi-stage venue, especially one of quality and historic significance. We feel very fortunate that the timing is right for us to create this opportunity for our community! Once refurbished, this will be an amazing showcase project for Rochester.”
Officials say they expect to close the deal in April and begin a $12 million renovation project later this year.
The Auditorium building, which currently makes up RBTL’s Auditorium Theatre and The Auditorium Center, was originally the Masonic Temple of Rochester, serving Masons across the Northeast. In addition to the main Theatre space, among other spaces, the complex also contains four former ceremonial meeting rooms. Under the new ownership, these rooms will be renovated and made available to community entities and will allow for the expansion of RBTL’s education programs.
Phase one of the renovation will focus on reconfiguring the main floor of the Auditorium Center portion of the building. Renovations will be funded in part by capital campaigns, sponsorships, operating surplus, state and local grants and foundations and other aid.
Rothschild says they would like to complete the complex, including its nearly 2,500 seat venue by 2030, the building’s 100th anniversary.