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Des Moines Civic Center, Des Moines

4.5
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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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Des Moines Civic Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
151 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We went to the production of The Color Purple. The building is beautiful and the seats are comfortable. Good visual and auditory even from a distant seat. My only recommendation is that if you are han...  more »
  • Great place to see a Broadway show. Very few bad seats. Great sound and less expensive than New York City!  more »
  • We attend every Concert when Joe Bonamasa performs at The Civic Center. Not a Bad Seat in the House here!! It's cool inside so you do not sweat, Last we were there as this year in March to hear Joe Wh...  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

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