Located at 901 Broadway in downtown Tacoma, the gleaming new Pantages Theatre opened its doors for the first time on January 7, 1918. The early years brought vaudevilles greatest acts. Later, it became a glitzy movie house premiering cinemas finest. It was in 1983, after some years of disrepair, that the Pantages Theatre reopened to its former glory. The venue (renamed the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts) now anchors a vibrant downtown Tacoma, one rich in cultural activities.
BCPA has since grown. The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts now also includes the nearby Rialto Theatre and Theatre on the Square as well. Arts groups now call BCPA home, including the Northwest Sinfonietta, Tacoma City Ballet, Tacoma Ballet and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, amongst other organizations.
Their mainstage performances are top-of-the-line, under the guidance of Executive Director David Fischer. Recent guests have included performers like David Sedaris, Blind Boys of Alabama, Bob Newhart, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and performances like Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, The Sound of Music and Footloose.
What’s off stage is just as important as what’s on. BCPA has one of the largest performing arts education programs in Washington State – serving over 51,000 students, teachers and parents annually in the South Sound – including deep levels of service with the Bethel, Puyallup and Tacoma School Districts, all the while maintaining and preserving Tacoma’s beloved historic theaters.
For more information about Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, its season and its programs, please visit www.broadwaycenter.org.