Your First Look Inside City Performance Hall, Which, Again, Could Really Use Some Rentals

Categories: City Hall

LobbyofCityPerformanceHall.JPG
Photos by Anna Merlan
Council members and others took their first tour of the City Performance Hall yesterday, beginning in the lobby
Yesterday afternoon the Arts Culture and Libraries Committee took its quick tour of the construction site that will soon be the City Performance Hall, which they hope somebody might want to rent out at some point. City council members Ann Margolin, Jerry Allen and Delia Jasso called their committee meeting to order in the underground parking lot of the space, then donned hard hats and journeyed upstairs to take a look, joined by two Cultural Affairs Commission members, Gail Sachson and Roger Carroll, as well as Assistant City Manager Joey Zapata (these people, they travel with a posse). They were escorted 'round by Kirk Johnson of Corgan Associates, one of the two architecture firms working on the project, and Maria Munoz-Blanco, the director of the Office of Cultural Affairs.

"You're the first VIPs to visit our building," Munoz-Blanco told the group. "We're thrilled."

Johnson led the group first into the main lobby, which features a bank of windows from floor to ceiling. They'll offer a "breathtaking view" of the Arts District, he told them. Next they walked through to the main performance area, which will feature 750 seats -- 500 on the main floor and 250 in the balcony -- as well as "undulating concrete walls" for acoustics and an LED "light curtain" onstage. The lobby and another upstairs room will also have performance spaces, each of which will be able to seat around 200.

Several of Unfair Park asked yesterday about those smaller spaces. We asked Munoz-Blanco to clarify when they'll be finished out. She says today, via email, that they're part of a second phase of construction, which, she explains. "is subject to a future bond program. The space where it will be built is the concrete area between the current building outer wall and Jack Evans. The foundation of the site in Phase I is built to accommodate Phase II when funds become available."

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A view from the stage
The building is LEED certified, he added, and features "local limestone" and metal byproducts. Jerry Allen enthusiastically snapped cell phone photos as they walked.

In the green room area for performers, there will be two "star dressing areas" and a main lobby for everyone to gather; it also features large windows, with a big street view and lots of natural light, which Munoz-Blanco told the group is unusual. "Usually they're stuck down in the basement," she said.

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There's also a private meditation garden just outside, "to help them as they prepare for performances," Johnson said.

"Or smoke," someone cracked. (Not us.)

"It's just a classy experience for 'em," Allen said, beaming.

But Munoz-Blanco told the group, as she told us Monday, they're still having a spot of trouble renting the hall, which is scheduled to open close to September 2012. Part of the problem, she said, is that "other venues have developed a clientele by now." She said the staff is "re-looking at the price structure," as well as "pursuing concessionaires to bring some revenue." She said the rates are "very competitive" with the Winspear, the Meyerson and other local performance spaces.

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Billy MacLeod
Billy MacLeod

Sounds a lot like their business plan is loosely based on the movie Field of Dreams..

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

"But Munoz-Blanco told the group, as she told us Monday, they're still having a spot of trouble renting the hall, which is scheduled to open close to September 2012. Part of the problem, she said, is that "other venues have developed a clientele by now." She said the staff is "re-looking at the price structure," as well as "pursuing concessionaires to bring some revenue." She said the rates are "verycompetitive" with the Winspear, the Meyerson and other local performance spaces."

If only we were as rich as this Hyphen named persons thought process is .

Dallas A one car Town with 4 gas stations at the same intersection.

"other venues have developed a clientele by now."

 And they sure as Fuzz aren't packing them in* at those venues are they ? * In an orderly Fashion of course .

So at the end of the day we have gone from 1st Saturday computer sales in that area to how many entertainment venues and seats available.

I have been in the buildings they are excellent  but  I thought we were told the idea that each one would be a specialized ( To A Point ) venue for of a certain type style of entertainment... That was the deal with all the different structures

If so what is this supposed to mean ?

She said the rates are "verycompetitive" with the Winspear, the Meyerson and other local performance spaces.

jon from tjs
jon from tjs

that thing that i literally thought was a parking garage is another theater?  we love the arts, try to support everything as the winspear, wyly and meyerson as well as One Arts Plaza.

but this is confusing.

From the architects' website describing the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre: A 575-seat “multi-form” theater with the ability to transform between proscenium, thrust, arena, traverse, studio, and flat floor configurations with only a small crew in a few hours; and to open the performance space to its urban surroundings.

so you have this amazing 575 person theater technologically designed to fill every performance art need...AND YOU BUILD A 750 PERSON THEATER NEXT DOOR?

and you wonder why you can't rent it out?

someone more knowledgable about theaters please enlighten me - how are these two structures NOT serving the same purpose other than 125 extra seats that would never be used except for a rare as hell these day complete theatrical sell out?

RTGolden
RTGolden

perhaps it is a totally unrelated real estate speculator who stands to gain on THIS particular venture.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Forgive my philistine ignorance of these artsy projects, but is this a 'city' performance hall as in paid for by taxpayer dollars?  Because the other one of those we have, the DSO is about to exhaust it's trust from what I understand.  If we can't support one of these high-brow venues, how are we supposed to support two?

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Why a tax increase of course!  After all it is only the citizens who get to pay for this but not visit due to the admittance fees.

Guest
Guest

I like that they had to be told what that the view out of the windows right in front of them will be.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

Is that a human with a rabbit jacket and hard hat standing by the orange vests?

Rangers100
Rangers100

No.  It's a headless mannequin.  One of the visitors temporarily put their helmet on top of it.

RTGolden
RTGolden

I didn't notice that at first, but you're right.  What/who the hell is that?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

It's a very thin woman in a mink something-or-nother. There's another photo where she's got her hand on a hard hat. Swear.

Rangers100
Rangers100

Dammit.  Beat me to this by 2 minutes.

RTGolden
RTGolden

I think you speak falsely.  Surely that is a headless Neimann Marcus mannequin displaying one of their signature furs.  Someone, probably the photographer just happened to plop their hardhat on top of it.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

It sure seems to me that we have an over abundance of venues here in Dallas. I wonder how all of the existing ones are doing? My guess is not as well as those who wanted these in the first place.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

How are they doing?  What difference does that make?  We're not here to sustain the arts, we're here to sell real estate and build buildings.  Get with the program!

Rangers100
Rangers100

Have you been to any of them?

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

No don't like the opera.   Have been to the Myerson once or twice over the past decade.  Occasionally go to the DMArt.   Did go to the Caravaggio exhibit in FW.   Been to the Nasher on their freebee day.   But for the infrastructure in place you would think that these venues should be packed every day.   But the Woman’s Museum closing and the last I heard the DSO was about to go bankrupt.   Seems to me like an over exuberance of our elected officials hoping that visitors from out of town will pay for all of this (but the tax payers always get the bill).    Fees to get in all of these places.   I have been to other cities (like St. Louis and Indianapolis where their museums are FREE (the last time I went).

Mind you I do like art but all of these venues..........

BS_Filter
BS_Filter

But we needed more buildings, because we were running out of things to name after Highland Park residents.

Lee
Lee

Oddly the Meyersons, Wylys and Winspears do NOT live in Highland Park.

Guest
Guest

Charles Wyly isn't living much of anywhere anymore.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Perhaps we need a debtor's prision that could be named for some HP residentes!

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