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Auburn BID: Schwartz derailed, Schine heads in right direction

Auburn Schine Theater

The Auburn Schine Theater in Auburn.

Imagine my delight last week when I witnessed a pigeon try to land on the Auburn Schine Theater marquee and bounce off because new panels were installed, closing the door of its former home. Not to worry, the pigeon is fine and flew off to search for a new home. Thank you to Bouley Associates, Beardsley & Beardsley Architects and Project Manager Todd Coleman for setting the Schine project on the right track. It’s always a joy to have companies and people join together to move an important community project forward. It’s a refreshing counterpoint to what this community has endured over the years concerning both theaters.

The twists and turns of these projects have now installed sensible, accountable people to the Schine Theater project and put a stop to the madness of the Finger Lakes Musical Theater Festival’s having continual lawsuits filed against its project, gobbling up many thousands of dollars that could have gone to many better uses. After all, the Finger Lakes Musical Theater Festival is in its third year and has brought thousands of people to enjoy multiple theater venues, our abundant offering of restaurants, historic sites, hotel accommodations, free popular music concerts and our welcoming, beautiful downtown.

There are more great businesses coming to downtown Auburn, so BID thanks to all of those people for their faith in moving forward on their projects. We also thank all of the businesses that have opened within the last two years and all of the longstanding, stoic businesses that have been here for generations. Thank you for your brave investments in a community that appreciates all of you.

Auburn Public Theater has demonstrated how a superb theater entity can be created by following a dream, inviting the community to join the creative journey, inviting suggestions, treating everyone with respect and turning collective passion into the energy that propels a local former W.T. Grants building into a public theater that celebrates and promotes all creative talents, and becomes better every year. That is why, here at BID, we still call Auburn Public Theater the flagship of downtown Auburn.

The ground flower pots have been planted and are filling in nicely. Thank you to Patterson Farms for its generous donation of compost material that is added to the flower pots to fluff up the soil. Thanks to Auburn Irrigations for preparing and planting and watering the pots on Genesee Street, Dill Street and several locations on Loop Road. These flowers were purchased from Baumes Greenhouse using a variety of colorful plants. Morgan Lawn & Landscape, owned by Douglas Morgan and Bill Moore, has planted the flower pots from the Liberty Store to the Unity House on Market Street, and the two pots in front of the bandstand in the park with very different plants that fill the pots out of the gate. They purchased plants from Dickman Farms and Hoadley’s Nursery to see if we can winter over some plants and stretch out their usefulness. We appreciate their willingness to experiment with these plants and their kind donation of their work to plant and maintain these flower pots for this year.

Thank you also to the Auburn Beautification Commission for the new flower box and flowers at the point of Seward Park, for the plants around the city hall gazebo and at the welcome signs at the entrances of the city. Please take note of the Dazzle in Downtown project on Exchange Street Plaza, where trees are lit by solar power. This project is sponsored by ABC, BID and the city of Auburn. For donation information, email

Vape Kult celebrated its grand opening Friday, June 13, at 12 South St. Owner Rich DeChick has jumped on board of the hot trend of electronic cigarettes, featuring high-quality products from Nashville. Lines include kits, batteries, tanks, mods and accessories. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call (315) 250-9977 or visit

Thirsty Pug Craft Beer & Market also celebrated its grand opening June 13. Owner Mike Sigona is excited to open the doors to his new convenience store, grocery and beer market. The location is Genesee Center, 100 Genesee St., next to Mesa Grande Taqueria. The store will be fully stocked with craft beer ready for purchase. Cheers to many great beers ahead! Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call (315) 406-8772 or visit

Connie Reilley is the executive director of the Downtown Auburn BID, next door to Cervo's News. She can be reached at (315) 252-7874.


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I edit The Citizen's features section, Lake Life, and weekly entertainment guide, Go. I've also been writing for The Citizen and since 2006, covering arts and culture, business, food and drink, and more.

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