Kodak gala showcases the importance of film & raises money for the United Way

Feb 27, 2017
Originally published on February 26, 2017 8:25 pm

Hundreds of people watched the Academy Awards in style Sunday night in Rochester, while also helping out a good cause.

This was the second year in a row the Kodak Center for the Performing Arts, which used to be known as Theater on the Ridge, has hosted a gala to benefit a local charity. Last year it was the American Heart Association, this year it was the United Way of Greater Rochester.

The building at Eastman Business Park was an appropriate place to hold the event, since that park is where Kodak film is made, and even in this age of digital, film has had a resurgence of sorts, particularly in the motion picture world, where Brad Kruchten,  the president of the print systems division for Kodak , says directors and cinematographers  often prefer shooting their movies on film.

“The medium is absolutely what they love, it’s the texture, the grain that you get, the feel of the film and also the latitude you have, is just outstanding," he told WXXI News.

Nine movies captured on Kodak film were nominated for 29 Academy Awards. 

The President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Rochester,  Fran Weisberg, notes that nearly 100 years ago, Kodak’s Founder, George Eastman, helped start what later became the United Way in Rochester.

“It was called the community war chest , then it became the community chest, then it became the united way. But his vision was if everybody does just a little bit we could have a great impact as a community>"

Sunday night’s benefit is expected to raise about $50,000 for the local United Way.

Dolores Kruchten, the President of Eastman Business Park, says holding this Oscars’ gala helps promote the park and aids the community at the same time.

“This is really a vital thing to get people in here to see how good the building looks , it’s absolutely gorgeous , so we can do many events here and so this is a great way to showcase while doing great things for the community.”