About Us

Who we are

Incorporated in 1976, the Bardavon 1869 Opera House, Inc. (the Bardavon) is a New York State nonprofit corporation that owns and operates a 944-seat historic theater in Poughkeepsie. The company regularly presents at other venues such as Kingston’s Ulster Performing Arts Center and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

Our namesake theater is the oldest continuously operating theater in the state, one of the oldest in the country, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

What we do

The Bardavon offers affordable, world-class arts education programs, music, dance, theater, Live in HD broadcasts, and classic films for the diverse audiences of the Hudson Valley. We present renowned and emerging performers in productions that inspire, entertain, and educate people of all ages, ethnicities and incomes. We also stage free outdoor arts events in local communities. These and all of our activities boost community pride, urban revitalization and cultural tourism, strengthening the quality of life for all.

Our diverse events attract audiences from the state’s nine-county Hudson Valley Region that lies between Albany and New York City. And many of our patrons travel regularly from NYC, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and beyond.

Our performances, programs, and off-site events reach nearly 80,000 residents and visitors every year. In addition to Bardavon programming, audiences also enjoy many events hosted by outside community groups in our venues. Residencies provide 3,300 regional students with workshops and assemblies in their own schools, and the Bardavon-produced Celebration of Lights Parade draws over 5,000 to Downtown Poughkeepsie.

Through our education program, we partner with regional schools to offer unique arts-based learning experiences for students and innovative teaching tools for educators.

Among our high-quality education programs for students in Kindergarten through grade 12 over the last 20 years have been the Young Playwrights Festival, Night of the Big Bands, IABAS Traditional Brazilian Band, Circus Goes Green, Arm of the Sea Theatre, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic Classroom to Concert Program, and Hip Hop Theater.

Our group sales draw a variety of special interest organizations. For just $6, patrons of all ages can attend inspiring shows such as Daytime Performances, films, residency performances, and the Matinees & Music series for seniors – often with free bus transportation. We reach out to thousands of low-income neighbors every year through ticket donations to human services agencies, inner-city schools, and a variety of other community groups.

The continued restoration and preservation of our historic theater are also vital aspects of our mission.

Bardavon 1869 Opera House


Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC)