Close to a century ago, the Stanley Theater was founded and coined “Pittsburgh’s Palace of Amusement.” On opening night, Governor John S. Fisher, Mayor Charles H. Kline, and president of Paramount Studios, Adolph Zukor were among the many audience members in attendance. At the time of its opening, it provided affordable entertainment and a place to gather during the otherwise bleak and dreary time of the Great Depression.
Since then, the space has been remodeled and restored to capture the essence of that first opening night. After the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust was founded in 1984, the theater was their first historic restoration project, and after adhering closely to guidelines established by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Historic Review Commission of Pennsylvania, it was reincarnated to appear just as it did back in 1928. This great undertaking included original mirrors, marble, and woodwork, and over 90 crystal chandeliers and sconces that were refurbished and now are displayed proudly throughout. This careful craftsmanship and dedication to history allowed for the Benedum Center to be recognized as part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Nowadays, you can visit the Center for exciting performances ranging from contemporary artists and bands, to opera, musical theater, and ballet. Check out Come From Away, a Broadway show opening on Tuesday, April 9th, that has earned awards for Best Musical and has received accolades from Newsweek and The New York Times. If you're looking for soulful tunes, consider Irish singer/songwriter Hozier, as he moves audiences on his Wasteland, Baby! tour.
If you’re interested in learning more about Benedum Center, or checking out their wide array of upcoming performances, head over to their website. You’ll also find important info on parking, transportation, and hours of operation. Make sure to take advantage of this neighborhood gem, and take a walk through time as you enjoy the best performances of today.
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