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Des Moines Civic Center, Des Moines

(140+ reviews on the web)
Civic Center Tourist Spot
The Des Moines Civic Center is a 2,744-seat performing arts center belonging to Des Moines Performing Arts located in Des Moines, Iowa. It has been Iowa's largest theater since it opened on June 10, 1979, and is used for concerts, Broadway shows, ballets, and other special events.The Civic Center building is also home to the 200-seat Stoner Theater, used for smaller theatrical shows and lectures, located on street level.Cowles Commons, formerly Nollen Plaza, is the one square block space located west of the Civic Center. Cowles Commons is currently under renovation and is slated to open late 2014.Together with the Stoner Theater, Cowles Commons, and the nearby Temple for the Performing Arts, the Civic Center is part of the Des Moines Performing Arts.HistoryIn 1972, the KRNT Theater closed. The loss of the 45-year-old theater left downtown Des Moines without a major cultural venue. A group of community leaders attempted to pass a referendum to construct a theater in 1974, but, needing 60% approval, it received only 54% and failed. After the narrow defeat, Des Moines business leaders decided to form a privately held, not-for-profit corporation to build and run a performing arts facility. The city's largest fundraising effort at the time raised $9.3 million to build the Civic Center in fewer than 90 days.After an introductory open house on June 10, 1979, the first public performance was by the Des Moines Ballet on June 14. The Civic Center is noted for its acoustics, and is handicapped-accessible. In addition, no seat is more than 145ft away from the stage. All seats are on one level.
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6 days in Des Moines BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Des Moines BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Des Moines BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Des Moines BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We were here a few months ago for a musical show, which was wonderful! The seats weren't the most comfortable. We could hear most of the show despite being fairly far up. The temperature in the theate...  more »
  • Hard to follow. Too much bright light flashing. That could of been toned down without changing the storyline. The biggest issue was the storyline. Having read the book, I was able follow the plot. For...  more »
  • We are longtime season ticket holders to the Broadway series most of the musicals and plays are great some are not. The venue is great, I am glad Des Moines has it.  more »
Google
  • A great place to see a performance or Broadway show in the heart of Des Moines! The Civic Center has been entertaining Iowa for 30 years now!
  • Great selection of traveling Broadway shows. Well worth the season tickets.
  • The events they host are always a treat. Recently went for the kids' dance concert and loved it! Parking can be a bit of a challenge so plan on taking additional time to park on the street or use one of the ramps with event parking charges.
  • Amazing place to come too for great events. Everyone should at least try everything once
  • Great venue. Lots of nearby restaurants