February 19, 2020
Your Ultimate Guide to the Smith Opera House
By: Donafaye Zoll
In the quaint Finger Lakes town of Geneva, on the shores of picturesque Seneca Lake lies the Smith Opera House, a stunning 1894 theater with some of the best entertainment in the region. Visitors come from over 3 hours away to be enchanted by the wide variety of plays and musical performances that come to the theater. A visit to the opera house is an absolute must when visiting the region and we know how to make your night one you’ll never forget.
History of the Opera House
You’ll notice the iconic red-brick opera house from the second you arrive in Geneva. The Richardsonian Romanesque style theater opened its doors in 1894 and continues to be one of the oldest performing arts theaters in America. Throughout it’s 125 years of operation, the theater has been saved from the wrecking ball more than once and has undergone some pretty serious renovation projects to restore its beauty. From small high school graduations to large name acts like Bruce Springsteen, this stage is a pillar of the community and continues to bring culture and entertainment to the Finger Lakes Area.
Shows & Tickets
The Smith Opera House attracts a large variety of live performances, from classical concerts to thrilling acrobatic performances to educational talks from high-up people of importance. In between these large acts, the theater hosts film nights that show old classics and culturally significant documentaries. Watch your all-time favorites up on the big screen like they were always meant to be seen.
The theater is divided into a floor section closest to the stage and two raised balconies so you can find the perfect seat for your night. Depending on the show, tickets start at under $10 for local performances and increase with the bigger name acts. You can find tickets on their website and reserve your seats for the evening or plan a spontaneous trip and buy last-minute seats at the door.
Where to Park
This isn’t NYC where you have to stress over your car. Geneva is a small town with ample parking. Park on the street in front of the theater or find one of the municipal parking lots around town.
Where to Eat
What is better than dinner and a show? Elevate your evening with a delicious meal from one of Geneva’s finest establishments. Bella’s Sicilian Ristorante is a favorite date night amongst locals. Inside you’ll find authentic Italian fare presented in a quaint and inviting environment. F.L.X Table is an intimate 14-seat eatery that takes guests on a culinary experience through New American food. You will need reservations as there are only two seatings per night and spots fill up fast. If you are looking for something light before the show, the Microclimate Wine Bar is the spot to go. Grab a glass of fabulous Finger Lakes wine and a small charcuterie board made with local treasures. All of these incredible eateries are within a couple of blocks of the Smith Opera House.
Where to Stay
After a long night at the theater, return to your comfortable and welcoming rooms at Sutherland House Victorian Bed & Breakfast in nearby Canandaigua. Relax in the Victorian-era parlor by the parlor, settle down on the porch, or return to your elegant rooms to unwind and discuss your favorite parts of the night. The following morning wake to a lavish three-course breakfast and fresh brewed coffee.
A show at the Smith Opera House should be on the itinerary of any visitor coming to the Finger Lakes. Check the show schedule and find the perfect movie, musical, acrobatic experience, or classical orchestra for your tastes. Follow our guide and you’ll enjoy an evening of entertainment for the books.
Looking for an evening of entertainment at the Smith Opera House? Book a stay at the Sutherland House Victorian Bed & Breakfast, a historic inn located in the heart of beautiful Canandaigua, New York.