This magnificent art-deco, 2,380-seat theatre, named after the Brooklyn-born poet Walt Whitman, opened in 1955 as the centerpiece for the Performing Arts Center. Some of the world's beloved and most accomplished artists have graced the footlights -- from the likes of the great classic legends such as Leontyne Price (who opened the inaugural season), Zubin Mehta, The Joffrey Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company,
Marilyn Horne, Itzhak Perlman, Peter Martins, Luciano Pavarotti, Dame Joan Sutherland and Edward Villella, to popular headliners like Tony Bennett, Pearl Bailey, Alan King, Linda Ronstadt, Arlo Guthrie, The Beach Boys, Victor Borge, Santana....well, the list goes on and on.
In October of 2005, the Walt Whitman Theater underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and refurbishment, reopening with a gala performance starring Leslie Uggams. This four month project gave the theatre a much needed face-lift including a new grand curtain, draperies, rugs and refurbished seats. Additionally, the original windows were removed and enclosed while the exterior walls were adorned with five story high, stainless steel wall sculptures. The Grand Lobby was also redesigned with architectural enhancements that include rich wood canopies and mirror accents, while the unique and stunning floor-to-ceiling marble walls of the original design were retained, and new concessions areas were added.