I am sorry to admit that I have never been to a performance at the Adelphi Performing Arts Center (AUPAC). The offer of a tour of the facility from the Temporary Operations Coordinator brought me here early one morning.
Being that this is a college campus there is plenty of accessible parking throughout the various lots. Twelve of them are located near the theatre’s main entrance. The brick building fits in well with the architecture on campus. Concrete and brick are in front of the main entrance. At the main entrance there are three sets of double doors, one of which has push-button assist. There is some seating out front if one needs to be dropped off. As I took a walk around the building I was happy to see that there are double door entrances on all four sides, each with push-button assist.
The lobby is lovely. The box office (wheelchair accessible) and entrances to three of five venues are on the main level. Smooth, interesting tile is on the floor. Seating is available in the lobby and along the hallway. Stairs or elevator will get you to each of the three levels in the building. I found multi-stall restrooms with a large accessible stall and baby-changing station on this level, as well as a single-occupancy, accessible restroom without a baby-changing station.
After looking around the main level, I took the elevator to the operations coordinator’s office on the second floor. Both he and the production manager couldn’t have been nicer. They took me on a detailed tour of the building and explained each of the five “state-of-the-art” venues (website). They seem proud of their facility and indeed, they should be!
Our first stop was the Olmstead Theatre, the oldest venue in the building. In fact, the new building, opened in 2008, was built around the Olmstead Theatre. Wheelchairs can be accommodated either down front or in the rear of the house. One can access the upper seating area from the second floor. Carpet covers the floor. Steps are not- steep, there is one extended step and then two “regular” steps. There are handrails on one side of the aisles and floor lighting to help one see where one is walking. It was nice that they kept this beautiful theatre.
Our second stop was the Dance Theatre, a performance space for new dance pieces, lectures and workshops. The Dance Theatre is equipped with bleacher seating – something one should know if stairs are an issue. The Dance Theatre also offers accessible seating for wheelchair users.
On to the largest venue here, the Concert Hall. Once again, wheelchairs can easily be accommodated in the front or rear of the house. Handrails in the middle of each aisle and floor lighting help make navigation and finding one’s seat easier. The steps here are the same as in the Olmstead (one extended step and then two “regular” steps). One can access this modern space from the main or lower level.
The Recital Hall is an intimate performance space. “This space makes you feel like you’re enjoying the event right in the comfort of your living room.” (website) It can accommodate about 80 seats, with “entirely flexible seating arrangements …in a truly elegant environment.” (website) It made me feel as though it could be an intimate night- club setting.
Our final stop was the Black Box Theatre, another multi-use space with flexible seating. Entrance to this space is on the main level, nearest the western entrance to the building. This space has two entrances, both easily accessible.
Both upper and lower levels have multi-stall, accessible restrooms, with baby-changing facilities. At present, AUPAC has two vending machines; one for light snacks and the other for beverages. Additional dining facilities are located at the north and south areas of the campus in other building. These dining locations are easily accessible.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding accessibility at AUPAC, please call the box office before purchasing tickets (516) 877 – 4000 or (516) 877 - 4927. They will be happy to help you in any way they can, as long as they know what you need.
I loved having the opportunity to tour this wonderful, accessible venue. I am happy to be able to describe it in detail so that anyone can “know before he/she goes,” in order to have the best experience possible. I hope to get to a performance there soon.
As always, we at Destination:Accessible advise you to visit a venue’s website, aupac.adelphi.edu, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”