July 2023: Majestic Theater Discontinues Met Opera Live in HD Series

Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater announced this week it will not present the Metropolitan Opera's 2023-2024 live telecasts in its historic theater. The reason for the cancellation is declining attendance.

“This business decision makes me really sad because I love opera and have attended the Met many times at Lincoln Center,” lamented Jeffrey Gabel, the Majestic’s founding executive director. “Unfortunately, the Met’s opera audience at the Majestic has slowly declined from a season high of 1,371 in 2011-2012 to 365 in 2021-2022. In the early years, we’d average 125 patrons at every telecast, and now its often less than 30. Our ticket sales no longer cover our out-of-pocket business expenses including satellite fees, utilities and staff.”

Gabel attributes a plethora of challenges for the declining opera attendance at the theater which includes the recently introduced Met Opera On-Demand Home streaming service, free PBS telecasts, and lingering post-COVID personal health concerns for older patrons. The Majestic will continue present the National Theatre Live productions from London, as well as Great Art on Screen documentaries, which remain very popular.

June 2023: Royalty Reigns during the 2023-2024 Majestic Theater Celebrity Season

Kings and queens of music, dance, comedy and theater will reign at Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theatre during the 2023-2024 Celebrity Season, kicking off this summer with a lineup of world-class musicians. The distinctive season lineup includes singer-songwriters, classic rock and country, jazz and chamber music, comedy, theater, bagpipes, dancing queens, and the rulers of the pre-historic era – dinosaurs! Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, June 23. Majestic members can access ticket pre-sales starting Wednesday, June 21. For more information and the full schedule click here.

May 2023: Majestic Theater's 2023 Summer Classic Movies begin June 7

Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater will celebrate film favorites old and new when the annual Summer Classic Movie series kicks off June 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the historic 1925 auditorium. Enjoy classic movies in the beautifully restored historic theater every Wednesday night through August 23. Tickets for each film are just $8 and are on sale now. For the full schedule read more here.

February 2023: Jeffrey Gabel to retire from Majestic Theater in January 2024

Jeffrey Gabel, the founding executive director of Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater, announced today (Feb. 27) that he will retire in early January 2024 after 20 years of dedicated service. 

“It has been a privilege and pleasure to build ‘the grandest small-town theater in America,’ which has been so generously supported by the college and the community,” said Gabel. “Twenty years is a long run in show business, and my time at the Majestic has been the most gratifying period of my career. Having an opportunity to help shape this important college and community resource has been incredibly rewarding and a lot of fun! After nearly 40 years in the entertainment business, I’m looking forward to attending shows and movies at the Majestic as a carefree patron.”

“Jeffrey represents the very best of our community,” said Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano. “His collaboration, his charisma, and his deep commitment to the arts have helped to build the Majestic Theater into all that it is today. Indeed, Jeffrey’s impact over the last two decades, reflected so vividly with a first-of-its-kind film festival this February, will undoubtedly be felt by Gettysburgians for decades to come. We wish him a joyous and well-deserved retirement.” 

Gabel joined the Gettysburg College administration in 2003 to lead the theater’s $16.5 million renovation that meticulously restored the 1925 vaudeville and silent movie theater and added a cinema wing with two theaters, an art gallery, café and backstage production wing.

In addition to programming more than 300 concerts by professional artists; raising $21.7 million in community support and establishing a $5.9 million endowment for programming support, Gabel counts producing the recent Ken Burns Film Festival—which drew sold-out audiences from 28 states across the country—among his most important accomplishments. Gabel also serves at the vice chair of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and is board member emeritus and past board chair of the League of Historic American Theatres.

Gettysburg College will launch a national search for a new executive director in the spring of 2023. The Majestic Theater at the LeVan Performing Arts Center in downtown Gettysburg is open year-round and presents a diverse lineup of more than 50 live performances by national and international performing artists, as well as a nightly lineup of independent, foreign and classic films. The Majestic also serves as the rehearsal and performance venue for the major instrumental ensembles of the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.

February 2023: Who Are We?: A Festival Celebrating the Films of Ken Burns kicks off Feb. 10

Ken Burns comes to Gettysburg for the first ever festival dedicated solely to his work on February 10-12, 2023. More than a career retrospective, festival goers will engage with Burns, his collaborators, historians, and students in consequential conversations about the simple question Burns has explored in all his films: Who Are We? Burns will speak to Gettysburg College students before the festival begins on Friday, and will then headline three special live festival events. Other speakers and experts featured throughout the weekend include Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, Jacqueline Schwab, Geoffrey Ward, Kevin RIchardson, Alisha Sanders, Tracie Potts and Susan Eisenhower. For a full schedule of the weekend's events click here