The Chautauqua Amphitheater — the “Amp” — functions as our community’s most important place for assembly around arts, culture, and worship. Over its 140-year history, most of the Amp’s parts — except for the Massey Memorial Organ and its house — have been built up, torn down, repaired, replaced, and remodeled. What we see today is the result of decades of changes, and Chautauqua Institution intends to renew the Amp to meet the community’s needs for the next 100 years.
Plans for a renewed Amp are the subject of much discussion and even debate. To put these plans and the dialogue into perspective, it is important to remember the reasons for an Amp renewal project.
• A Letter from President Tom Becker about the future of the Amphitheater: Download Tom's Letter (PDF)
• Tom Becker & Jim Pardo address the crowd gathered outside the press conference.
Recording courtesy of Dennis Webster of the Jamestown Post Journal.
Press Conference Video (Held in Smith Memorial Library)
Chautauqua Institution held a series of community engagement sessions on the Amphitheater renewal project. These sessions were designed for listening to concerns and answering questions, and for educating attendees on the current state of the structure, on the history of changes and modifications throughout its 122 years and the Institution’s proposed design.
These sessions ran every week throughout the 2015 season:
The Amphitheater is Chautauqua’s essential place of assembly for arts, culture and worship. Over 140 years, it has been periodically adapted to stand against the wear of time, weather and changing needs.
Goals for this project are:
Increased audience capacity
Improved accessibility, safety, comfort and sight lines
Modernized and increased functionality of back-of-house
1. Approach from Bestor Plaza
2. View just outside Gate 4
3. View from Northern Perimeter
4. View from Western End
5. View from Southern Perimeter
6. View into Bowl from Southern Fence
7. Descent into the Seating Bowl
8. View from the Stage Area
9. View towards Back-Of-House
10. View of Rear Pathway
1. Steel Truss Additions Over Stage
2. Steel Reinforcing and Cross Bracing Added
3. Attic Above Curved Ceiling - Active Work Space
4. Attic Above Curved Ceiling Near Stage - Active Work Area