Notre Dame opens performing arts center

The Associated Press September 11, 2004 12:35 PM

SOUTH BEND, IND. -- Notre Dame has opened its new performing arts center, which includes five separate high-tech theaters and dozens of classrooms.

The Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts, which took four years to build, has opened to visitors, and an open house is planned for next weekend.

The center was built in the pale concrete-and-brick Gothic style of many of the other buildings on the Notre Dame campus. Visitors are welcomed by large, glass-and-wood front doors entering into an expansive lobby. The bare walls are tan, ornate carpets include patterns of bright reds, blues and yellows, and the ceiling beams are painted a bright blue and gold.

"This building is just magnificent," said Fred Franco, one of dozens people who have visited the center since it opened in late August.

The building houses high-tech theatrical facilities designed to accommodate as many different types of performances as possible. It has five main theaters and dozens of classrooms, faculty offices and student labs.

The largest of the theaters is the 900-seat concert hall, intended for classical concerts and recitals. There's a 350-seat theater for most student and professional play performances and a 100-seat venue for experimental theater. An organ and choral hall contains a $1 million organ built in the style of 18th century north German organs.

And for those who just want to see a movie, a 200-seat cinema in the center is the only movie theater in Indiana that boasts a THX-certified sound system.

Information from: South Bend Tribune