(Scott LoBaido, courtesy/St. George Theatre)
Artists have been forced to come up with new ways to stay financially afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, and so have the darkened venues where they would normally be performing.
To this end, Staten Island’s historic St. George Theatre, which opened in 1929 within walking distance of the Staten Island Ferry, has come up with a novel gift certificate concept patterned after the U.S. Postal Service’s popular Forever stamp.
Dubbed the Forever Ticket, the certificate involves a $50 donation, to be credited towards purchase of a ticket to any future performance at the 1,900-seat theater. Any number can be bought, with the value of each never diminishing or expiring, hence the “Forever” moniker. They were originally being sold only through May 31, but with continued uncertainty over the return of the theater business, that date may change.
Forever Ticket holders also receive pre-sale benefits for future announced shows, such that they may buy the best seats ahead of the general public. And donors receive a 6 x 6-inch print of the Forever Ticket artwork, which was designed by patriotic artist Scott LoBaido and bears an image of the theater.
“Music, dance, and comedy unite our community,” says St. George CEO Doreen Cugno. “Now more than ever, we need [its] support.”
Cugno, her sister Luanne Sorrentino, and their late mother Rosemary Cappozalo founded St. George Theatre Restoration Inc. in 2004 as a non-profit organization. Its mission was to restore the theater and develop it as a cultural and performing arts center for Staten Island--and all of New York City--by way of providing community outreach programs, educational programs and public performances.
“The average concert-goer may not realize that we are in fact a non-profit organization,” notes Vincent Innocente, manager of audience services and marketing for St. George Theatre Restoration Inc.
“With our doors currently closed, we are counting on the support of our community to come back strong once this is over. A Forever Ticket is essentially a promise to come to a show in the future!”
A St. George Theatre featurette