Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall to celebrate 75 anniversary

In 2012, the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall will celebrate 75 years of bringing entertainment to the metro.
jwilliams@opubco.com Published: August 22, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Civic Center Music Hall will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2012.

Founded in 1937, the performing arts center in downtown Oklahoma City is home to the Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre, the Freede Little Theatre, CitySpace, the Meinders Hall of Mirrors and the Joel Levine Rehearsal Hall.

The Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and Oklahoma City purchased the land for what was then known as the Municipal Auditorium after voters approved a $4 million bond.

The New Deal programs of the 1930s contributed 45 percent of the cost of building the center through the Public Works Administration. The original building seated more than 6,000.

Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock, marketing and public information manager at the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department, said the auditorium was used for multiple purposes, not just for entertainment.

"We had state basketball tournaments, we had large truck and tractor conventions," she said. "The whole bottom floor could be flattened out to large convention space."

In 1966, the Municipal Auditorium was remodeled and renamed the Civic Center Music Hall.

In 2001, a MAPS renovation project brought more improvements, including a complete interior renovation; a multistory atrium; improved acoustics; and a hydraulic orchestra pit.

The Civic Center Music Hall is operated in conjunction with Stage Center and the Rose State Performing Arts Theatre. The center is also home to eight professional arts organizations: Black Liberated Arts Center, Canterbury Choral Society, Celebrity Attractions, Lyric Theatre and Academy, Oklahoma City Ballet, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, and Oklahoma City Theatre Co.

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