Posted: 5:11 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A recent history of Atlanta’s Civic Center
In recent years, the Civic Center’s auditorium has mostly been a home for gospel and soul music shows and urban comedy bills. The hit show “Fela!” which won three Tonys in 2010, played the Civic Center the next year. But touring Broadway shows, once a staple there, have mainly moved to the Fox Theatre and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
In 2007, the Atlanta Opera moved from the Civic Center to beyond the city limits, setting up shop at Cobb Energy. It was considered a bold move at the time. The Civic Center’s theater, before and after various updates and renovations, has been lamented for its poor acoustics and sightlines.
But the Civic Center’s exhibition hall had more success, hosting a major Southeastern folk art show, “Souls Grown Deep,” organized by Emory University’s Carlos Museum for Atlanta’s 1996 Cultural Olympiad.
The exhibition space has hosted significant touring cultural exhibitions since then, including “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” starting in 2008, “America I AM: The African American Imprint” in 2009 and, most recently, “Diana: A Celebration” in 2010.
The Civic Center was the home of the now-closed Science and Technology Museum of Atlanta, or SciTrek, from 1988 to 2004, and the Civic Center grounds also hosted Music Midtown from 2000 until it died out after 2005.
Historic trends in the Atlanta Civic Center’s profits and losses
2006-2007: $300,000 profit
2007-2008: ($390,000) loss
2008-2009: ($50,000) loss
2009-2010: $20,000 profit
2010-2011: ($150,000) loss
Source: HR&A Advisors Inc. Dates refer to fiscal years.
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