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Des Moines Civic Center, Des Moines

Categories: Civic Centers, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web
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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  • We attended the Celtic Thunder concert. The Civic Center was a beautiful venue, extremely pleasant and helpful ushers, and very convenient to downtown restaurants within walking distance. Will definit...  read more »
  • First, paying ahead for Valet service, is WONDERFUL AND USING IS great!!! Superb service given us pickup and delivery!!!!! Second the setting at Des Moines Civic Center is quite comfortable and most e...  read more »
  • We had a great time at the show... wish it wasn't raining.. and more parking but overall "Good Times" 
  • 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
  • And such a great manager
  • Love the civic center!
  • Great venue. Lots of nearby restaurants
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