One of the most common questions we hear at the Museum is “Where do we see the live glassblowing?” The tradition of glassmaking has been a part of the Museum campus since the opening in 1951. Our glassblowers put on more than 15 Hot Glass Show glassblowing demonstrations a day, and even more show times are added in the summer. With the North Wing expansion soon underway, one of the first major changes is a newly renovated theater to continue our daily schedule of the Hot Glass Show.
The new theater will be located just above the Museum Admissions Lobby, in what used to be the Museum’s orientation film theater. The space was originally designed by architects Smith-Miller + Hawkinson, who revisited their 1999 design to transform the theater into a new venue suited for glass demonstrations. Watch this clip of architect Laurie Hawkinson talking about the use of glass in architecture.
Renovations began in January, right after the removal of Brian Clarke’s The Glass Wall. The theater will open this summer to ensure that construction on the North Wing will not affect the schedule of our popular live glassblowing demonstrations. In fact, one day you’ll see the Hot Glass Show in its current space, and, if you came back the next day, you’d be able to see it in this new space.
The Hot Glass Show is so popular that we’re adding more space. An additional 50 seats are being added to this new theatre, and stadium-style seating ensures that there won’t be a bad view in the house. You’ll be able to sit right up front and feel the heat from the new all-electric furnaces, or sit further back, relax, and enjoy the show and the view of Corning through floor-to-ceiling windows.
A major part of the renovation project is the removal of the eastern interior wall. Once completed, the theater will almost resemble our outdoor Courtyard stage. The open sides will allow you to see out to Center Way (the road in front of the Museum) from inside the theater, or watch the show as you wander by on the way to the Glass Galleries. You’ll also be able to see a live video stream of the Hot Glass Show in the Admissions Lobby.
The theater is scheduled to open early July. Come see a show then, now, or later – the Hot Glass Show happens all day, every day and now open until 8pm. See a full schedule of the Hot Glass Show: http://www.cmog.org/visit/calendar.