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The bitter dispute behind an Auburn theater’s name change

Theater Mack is now the Cayuga Museum Carriage House Theater. But behind the venue’s quiet name change is a bitter dispute between the Auburn museum and what was a major benefactor.

The theater opened there in 2012 under its old name to honor that benefactor, Peter “Mack” Maciulewicz, as well as his family.

Like his father, Casimir, Peter served for years as a member of the museum’s board of trustees, including 10 as its president. He and his wife, Carol, gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the institution — $150,000 alone to refurbish the former Willard-Case Mansion’s 1850 carriage house as Theater Mack, plus another $50,000 they raised for the project from friends. And Mack Studios, the Auburn design/build company Casimir started and Peter now runs, volunteered its 80 employees and state-of-the-art equipment to create many of the museum’s displays.

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