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Smith Opera House celebrating 125th birthday

The Smith Opera House in downtown Geneva is celebrating its 125th year of providing arts and educational opportunities for Finger Lakes residents and visitors.

The Smith opened its doors on Oct. 29, 1894, with a production of “The Count of Monte Cristo” starring James O’Neill, father of playwright Eugene O’Neill. The theater since has brought Bruce Springsteen and Itzhak Perlman to town, screened thousands of movies, provided the stage for hundreds of high school graduates, and faced a wrecking ball at least twice.

Throughout 2019, the Smith will celebrate with special concerts, films and events tied to its history.

Supporters can contribute to an endowed fund for continuing maintenance, which will help with the building’s upkeep. To date, board members of the Smith Center for the Arts and others have raised more than half of the $125,000 goal.

Dave and Brenda Rickey agreed to match every donation to this fund through Oct. 28.

“We recognize what a remarkable asset the Smith Opera House is — and has been — to the Geneva community for all these 125 years,” Dave Rickey said. “This fund is a wonderful way to ensure that this extraordinary theater and all it offers stays strong for future generations to enjoy.”

Donors can send birthday gifts online at bit.ly/2NO611v or by mail to The Smith Center for the Arts, 82 Seneca St., Geneva, New York, 14456.

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