Cornell Cinema has wheelchair and companion seating inside its theatre as well as a lift to move from the outer to the inner lobby. Patrons with mobility impairment are encouraged to use this lift, as there are a number of stairs down to the inner lobby and the theatre entrance. The inner lobby also includes an accessible, gender-neutral washroom.
Cornell Cinema also has assistive listening headsets and closed caption readers available for checkout at the Box Office. Not all titles include descriptive audio or closed captions, but those that do will have this information noted on the individual film’s page within a week of its showdate. To access one of these devices, please contact a member of our student team when you arrive at the cinema.
Willard Straight Theatre
Films are screened five to seven nights a week in the beautiful and historic Willard Straight Theatre (pictured) during the academic year. Built in 1925, the theatre features fresco wall murals depicting Shakespearean scenes on one side and scenes from Greek classical theater on the other. Occasional screenings are held in Sage Chapel and outside on the Willard Straight Terrace.
Willard Straight Theatre features the largest screen in Ithaca, Dolby Digital Surround Sound and the best projection in the area, with facilities to handle archival 35mm reel-to-reel prints, DCP (including high quality 3D), and other digital formats. 16mm prints can also be accommodated with portable projectors. A concession stand in the lobby sells reasonably priced popcorn, beverages, candy and organic snacks from Temple of Zeus. Seating capacity is 340.
There are many parking options for Cornell Cinema screenings.
We suggest the Willard Straight Lot, the Anabel Taylor Lot (some spots are unrestricted after 5pm — be sure to read the signs or you will be ticketed!), along South Avenue or Stewart Avenue, the lot off Edgemoor Lane, accessed via South Avenue and West Avenue, or the lower lot on the west side of Myron Taylor Hall, accessed via South Avenue (see red markings on the map below). Please note that some of these options do require walking uphill.
Parking is also available at the Schoelkopf Parking Garage, where there is ample space and it is free after 5pm. It's a less than 10 minute walk to Willard Straight.
PLEASE NOTE: Access to the Willard Straight Lot is accessible via Campus Road, driving through the Cornell Health (formerly Gannett Health Center) entrance.
Please pay close attention to all parking signs in case of any rule changes!
Directions to Willard Straight Hall
- Take College Avenue into the Cornell campus.
- At the Main Quad, turn left onto Campus Road.
- The Willard Straight parking lot is your first right, through the Cornell Health entrance.
From Downtown Ithaca
- Take Buffalo Street up the hill to Stewart Avenue (flashing yellow light).
- Turn left on Stewart.
- At Campus Road, bear right.
- Head up Campus Road to the Willard Straight Hall parking lot on your left (through Cornell Health entrance).
- Enter Willard Straight Hall through the doors at the end of the Parking Lot. The Theatre is just ahead!
Cornell Cinema hosts one or two special events each semester in Sage Chapel. This magnificent, non-denominational chapel was designed by Charles Babcock, Cornell’s first professor of architecture, in 1875, with additions to the building in 1898, 1905 and 1940. There are Tiffany windows, memorial windows to war veterans and one to the civil rights workers murdered together during the Freedom Summer of 1964: Michael Schwerner '61, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman.
Sage Chapel also features Cornell's largest organ, an Aoelian-Skinner installed in 1940, which sometimes features in our screenings there. Seating capacity is 748.