The Historic City Auditorium

City Auditorium

City Auditorium

The City Auditorium is a versatile event venue located at the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs. Its historic architecture, combined with its recent modernizations and community ties, ensure that it will remain a pillar of the community for many years to come, and that your event will be an equally memorable success.

The historic centerpiece is placed a stone’s throw away from dozens of restaurants, bars, and shopping outlets, is situated within two blocks of three large public parking garages, and has recently benefitted from a number of valuable upgrades and renovations.

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Upcoming Events

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The City Auditorium is a very viable and affordable venue and the only one in Colorado Springs, capable of hosting a wide variety of events for the community. Events include concerts, trade shows, graduations, and athletic competitions. With the Lon Chaney Theatre as a smaller venue, seating 230, the versatility is further enhanced. The theatre has become the resident home for children's theatre groups, religious organization and independent film societies. The Space has the ability to host small business and club and social functions.

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Lon Chaney Theater

The Lon Chaney Theatre within City Auditorium seats roughly 225 people and is a more cozy setting than the Main Arena. It is perfect for acoustic shows, lectures, drama, film, and other more intimate events.

History

The idea for the City Auditorium was first proposed by the Colorado Springs Civic League (1909-1916). The Civic League, a society of women who advocated beauty and influential work, touted the potential benefits of an auditorium building as everything that pertained to better city housekeeping, better social conditions, and more intelligent conduct of city affairs.

The idea actually became a viable project and took shape during the term of Mayor Charles Thomas (1917-1921). The City Council gave the project momentum. In a general election on April 5, 1921, voters (1,806 to 1,120) passed a $390,000 bond issue to build a large multipurpose arena and theater to support growing social and cultural needs.

A year later, the City Council authorized the $23,000 purchase of three land parcels at the southwest corner of Kiowa and Weber. The cornerstone was dedicated on October 18, 1922, and construction was completed in April of 1923. The auditoriums maximum seating capacity of 2,655 represented more than 10% of the citys population. The final cost... $424,910, included all the furniture, fixtures and stage equipment, and was a major financial investment for the City.

The City Auditorium continues to be a very viable and affordable venue and the only one in Colorado Springs, capable of hosting a wide variety of events for the community. Events include concerts, trade shows, graduations, and athletic competitions. With the Lon Chaney Theatre as a smaller venue, seating 230, the versatility is further enhanced. The theatre has become the resident home for children's theatre groups, religious organization and independent film societies. The Space has the ability to host small business and club and social functions.

Murals

The Murals in the City Auditorium's lobby were created in 1934 under the Public Works of Art project, one of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs during the Great Depression. Both artists; Archie Musick and Tabor Utley; were associated with the Broadmoor Art Academy (later part of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center) under the direction of Boardman Robinson. In 2004, Victoria Montana Ryan of Arts Care Services conserved the murals, and Bulbs Plus, Inc. provided museum quality lighting. 

Hard Rock Miners by Archie Musick (1902-1978) 

Archie Musick's "Blew into town on a freight train" in 1924 and fell in love with the Mountains and Garden of the Gods. He studied art for many years in Colorado Springs with Boardman Robinson and also studied in New York with Thomas Hart Benton and in California with Stanton MacDonald-Wright. Musick taught art for 33 years, in Colorado Springs' Cheyenne Mountain school district and in Missouri and Colorado universities. He painted murals in post offices in Manitou Springs and in Red Cloud, Nebraska, as well as in Canyon Elementary School and downstairs in the Colorado Springs fine Arts Center. Musick's inspiration of "Hard Rock Miners' came from his fascination with the Cripple Creek-Victor gold mine ruins, and the importance of mining in the history of the Pikes Peak Region. Having worked many pick and shovel jobs himself, he closely identified with the hard labor of the miners. 

The Arts by Tabor Utley (1891-1978)

After a military career during World War I, Tabor Utley came from Louisiana to the dry air of Colorado for his health. He began a new career as an artist, studying in Denver, Colorado Springs and in Paris at the Lauvre and Luxembourg museums. He taught at the Broadmoor Academy and Pueblo Community College, and assisted Boardman Robinson in painting murals in New York in 1932. "The Arts" depicts comedy and tragedy masks (the traditional symbol of theatre); instrumental music; a gospel choir; dance; and the muse, youth and innocence. Utley's portrayal of a broad spedrum of performing artists made a strong statement in its time about the public, inclusive nature  of the arts and of the City Auditorium itself.