The Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC) is a massive cultural center in Denver, Colorado. Covering four blocks and 12 acres, it is the largest performing arts complex in the United States, with ten performance spaces and five resident companies. These companies include the Colorado Ballet, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado, Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, and the Newman Center Presents series. DPAC hosts a wide range of events, from Broadway shows and musicals to plays, operas, dance performances, and concerts.
The history of the complex started in 1908 with the opening of the Denver Municipal Auditorium. Later, in the 1970s, the Denver Center for Performing Arts was created. Since then, the venue has undergone multiple renovations to expand and update its facilities. The complex's largest building, the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, can seat 2,225 people and is considered one of the most acoustically perfect theaters in the world. Other notable spaces include the Boettcher Concert Hall, which is home to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and can seat up to 2,679 people, and the Buell Theatre, which hosts Broadway touring productions and can seat up to 2,839 people.
Why should you go?
World-class performances. DPAC hosts a wide variety of performances throughout the year, including Broadway touring shows, operas, ballets, concerts, and plays. Visitors can enjoy top-notch productions from some of the best performers and companies in the world.
Beautiful architecture. The complex is an architectural wonder, with striking modern buildings and open plazas that are perfect for a leisurely stroll. The Ellie Caulkins Opera House, in particular, is a must-see with its grand staircase, marble floors, and stunning chandeliers.
Varied performance spaces. With ten different performance spaces, DPAC offers visitors a range of experiences. Whether you want an intimate performance in the 220-seat Garner Galleria Theatre or a grand concert in the 2,679-seat Boettcher Concert Hall (reopening in 2023), DPAC has something for everyone.
Excellent acoustics. The Ellie Caulkins Opera House and Boettcher Concert Hall are both renowned for their exceptional acoustics. Enjoy performances that sound crystal clear and true to life.
Easy access. Located in the heart of downtown Denver, DPAC is easily accessible by car, public transit, or on foot. There are also plenty of nearby parking options for those who prefer to drive.
Family-friendly. The venue offers a range of family-friendly performances throughout the year, including holiday shows, children's theater, and educational programs. It's a great way to introduce kids to the world of performing arts.
History and culture. The complex has a rich history and is an important cultural center for Denver. You can learn about the complex's origins, see historical artifacts, and experience the vibrant arts scene that is so important to the city.
Dining and nightlife. The area is surrounded by a variety of dining and nightlife options, from casual cafes to upscale restaurants and trendy bars. You can make a night of it by enjoying a meal before or after a performance or by exploring the city's vibrant nightlife scene.
Best places to visit near Denver Performing Arts Complex
The Denver Art Museum is a few blocks away from the Performing Arts Complex and is home to an impressive collection of art from all over the world.
Civic Center Park is located across the street from the venue and is a great spot for picnics, people-watching, and taking in some fresh air.
The Colorado State Capitol is just a few blocks away from the Performing Arts Complex and offers tours of the building, which houses the offices of the governor and the state legislature.
The 16th Street Mall is a pedestrian-only street that runs through the heart of downtown Denver and is lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
Union Station is a beautifully restored train station located just a few blocks away from the complex. It is now a hub of activity with restaurants, bars, and shops.
The Denver Botanic Gardens is a peaceful oasis located a short distance from the Performing Arts Complex. It features a wide variety of plants, gardens, and exhibits.
Larimer Square is a historic district in downtown Denver that is home to some of the city's best restaurants, shops, and nightlife.
Coors Field is the home of the Colorado Rockies baseball team and is located just a few blocks from the area.
Sports Authority Field at Mile High is home to the Denver Broncos football team and is located a short distance from the Performing Arts Complex.
What's the best way to see Denver Performing Arts Complex
Plan ahead. Check the schedule of events before your visit and decide which performances you would like to see. This will help you to make the most of your time at the complex and ensure that you don't miss out on any of the shows you're interested in.
Take a guided tour. On Mondays and Saturdays, the Denver Performing Arts Complex offers free guided tours that take you behind the scenes and show you areas of the complex that are not open to the public. A tour is a great way to learn about the history of the complex, its architecture, and its operations.
Arrive early. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the complex and find parking. Once you're there, take some time to explore the outdoor spaces and the various buildings that make up the complex. There are several restaurants and cafes in the area where you can grab a bite to eat or a drink before the show.
Dress appropriately. The dress code varies depending on the performance, but it's always a good idea to dress nicely for a night out at the theater. Avoid wearing anything too casual or revealing, and make sure your shoes are comfortable for walking and standing.
Enjoy the performance. Once you're inside the theater, sit back and enjoy the show! Take in the sights and sounds of the performance and immerse yourself in the experience. Afterward, consider taking a stroll around the complex to enjoy the atmosphere and take in the beautiful architecture.