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Des Moines Civic Center, Des Moines

(4.5/5 based on 120+ 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great performance. The only issue was sometimes there was a crackling sound from the microphone and when the actors turned away you had a brief loss of volume. This was opening night so I would chalk ...  more »
  • Top shows, great seats and sound, polite staff! It is very clean, well managed and has valet parking if desired. Plus, several great restaurants are within walking distance. 
  • The Des Moines Civic Center is a fabulous place to enjoy theater. There's not a bad seat in the house and the sound system is among the best we've experienced. Their connections to Broadway provide th...  more »
Google
  • 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