Sandusky State Theatre hopes to show opera broadcasts, first-run movies

SANDUSKY Thomas Kazmierczak III hasn't been on stage long as the executive director of the Sandusky
Tom Jackson
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Thomas Kazmierczak III hasn't been on stage long as the executive director of the Sandusky State Theatre, but he already has plenty of ideas for programming.

Kazmierczak, who became the theater boss Jan. 14, wants opera fans to be able to come to the theater to watch live broadcasts from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

For those a bit less highbrow, Kazmierczak hopes to bring in first-run movies -- something the theater hasn't done in years.

New York's famed Metropolitan Opera has completed two seasons of high-definition video broadcasts of its operas to movie theaters across the U.S. The broadcasts, available in Cleveland, have made it possible for opera fans far from the Big Apple to get a dose of musical melodrama.

Kazmierczak heard about the broadcasts from a friend, opera singer Valerian Ruminski, and thinks they'd be a good fit for Sandusky's ornate theater.

"We have a beautiful location overlooking the water," he said.

He doesn't expect to offer broadcasts for the 2008-09 season, but he hopes to offer them for the Met's 2009-10 season. The first step will be to find out if the Met will allow broadcasts to Sandusky to be licensed, Kazmierczak said.

The Met's press spokesman didn't return a call asking for comment.

The Sandusky State Theatre hasn't shown first-run movies since the late 1980s or early 1990s, but Kazmierczak said he'd like to bring a few premieres to town. He said he can't say much more yet.

"We're trying to research all avenues for movies," he said.

The theater has been trying to bring in more music performances. Country great Ronnie Milsap filled three-quarters of the seats at a recent concert, and promoters have talked to the theater about bringing in other "name acts," Kazmierczak said.

In the meantime, the theater has lined up a series of shows and events, which are listed on the theater's Web site, sanduskystate.com (under the heading Season Shows). The theater is scheduled to show Halloween and Christmas movies later this year, including "Casper," "Friday the 13th," "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Prancer."