Back to Posts

RPO & GEM Partner on New 2023 Film Series


 Pops on Film aligns concert & cinema events

Rochester, NY – Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and the George Eastman Museum (GEM) will partner on a new film series in 2023 called Pops on Film. Each of the five 7:30 PM film screenings in the museum’s Dryden Theatre will provide cinematic context for an 8 PM RPO Pops performance in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, which will take place a few days after each screening.

·         There’s No Business Like Show Business on Thursday, January 11. Nineteen Irving Berlin songs form the backdrop for this prewar, showbiz musical directed by Walter Lang starring Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O’Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, and pop sensation Johnnie Ray. This screening is paired with the RPO’s Gershwin, Berlin & Friends on Friday and Saturday, January 20 & 21. Conducted by the multi-talented Byron Stripling, the program features the music of great, early-20th -century composers including Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Isham Jones. Renowned double bassist and jazz vocalist Sydney McSweeney joins the RPO for this evening of music from the Great American Songbook.

·         The King and I on Wednesday, February 8. Also directed by Walter Lang, this 1956 musical film is based on the 1951 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical of the same name, which was inspired by the 1944 novel by Margaret Landon, Anna and the King of Siam. Starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brenner, it garnered five Oscars. Its screening is paired with Andreas on Broadway on Friday and Saturday, February 17 & 18. RPO Music Director Andreas Delfs takes his turn conducting on the Pops Series with this program of Rodgers & Hammerstein favorites.

·         Footloose on Friday, March 31. The 1984 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross stars Kevin Bacon and John Lithgow. It received mixed reviews from the critics but became a box office hit known for its music, including “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams. The screening is paired with Decades: Back to the 80s on Friday and Saturday, April 7 & 8. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik will unveil all-new arrangements of that decade’s #1 hit songs with three talented vocalists.

·         Dick Tracy on Friday, April 14.  This 1990 action/crime/comedy film was based on the 1930s comic strip character created by Chester Gould. Warren Beatty produced, directed, and starred in the film, whose strong supporting cast includes Al Pacino and Madonna. Danny Elfman composed the score, and the film won three Academy Awards. The screening of this film is paired with The Envelope Please on Friday and Saturday, April 21 & 22. Jeff Tyzik conducts an evening of Grammy, Tony, and Academy Award-winning songs performed by three of Broadway’s best performers.

·         Lady Sings the Blues on Thursday, May 18. This 1972 biographical drama film, produced by Motown Productions, is loosely based on jazz singer Billie Holiday’s 1956 autobiography. It stars Diana Ross in her feature film debut, for which she was nominated for an Oscar, as well as Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, and Scatman Crothers. Its screening is paired with Dancing in the Street: The Music of Motown on Friday and Saturday, May 26 & 27. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik leads this program of his original but authentic arrangements of Motown hits featuring dynamic vocalists.

“Rochester has a long history of supporting both live music and cinema, particularly at the RPO and the George Eastman Museum,” says Jared Case, Curator of Film Exhibitions at George Eastman Museum. “It’s only natural, then, that we should support each other by providing programming that bridges the 1.5 miles between the two buildings that bear George Eastman’s name.”

“I applaud this thoughtful pairing of our two genres,” adds RPO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik. “I believe it will enhance audiences’ appreciation of the close connection and collaboration between art forms — something which has always inspired me.”

Tickets to films in Dryden Theatre may be purchased at General admission is $11, museum members are $7, Students (w/ ID) and children are $5, SNAP or EBT cardholders and their families are free as are active duty military and their families. Tickets for all Kodak Hall shows start at $24/$12 for children ages 3-17 and are available online anytime at, by phone at 585-454-2100 (Monday-Friday,10 AM-5 PM), and in person at RPO Patron Services at 225 East Avenue (Monday -Friday, 10 AM-5 PM) and one hour prior to curtain at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main St.).


There are currently no COVID protocols in either Dryden Theatre or Kodak Hall, however, the RPO is pleased to offer a masks-only section in a portion of the balcony.


ABOUT THE RPO: The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its origins in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Music Director Andreas Delfs joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, Mark Elder, Ward Stare, and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, now in his 29th season, has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his tenure with the RPO. The RPO reaches more than 15,000 youth through its specific education programs. The RPO thanks Season Sponsor M&T Bank, Pops Series Sponsors Canandaigua National Bank & Wegmans, and Special Series Sponsor Pittsford Federal Credit Union.


ABOUT GEORGE EASTMAN MUSEUM:  Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active book publishing program, and its L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation’s graduate program (a collaboration with the University of Rochester) makes critical contributions to film preservation. The 500-seat Dryden Theatre is the premier exhibition space for the art of cinema as championed and interpreted by the George Eastman Museum. Presenting film screenings every day of the week, the Dryden is devoted to showing all films in their original formats, thus honoring and reproducing their historical – and aesthetically supreme – modes of exhibition. It is one of the very few theaters in the world equipped for the projection of original nitrate film that also makes nitrate film screenings part of its regular program.

Media please note: High-resolution images and other media assets for the 2022-23 RPO Season can be found at Interviews and photo/footage opportunities are also available.