The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, a Pittsburgh Cultural Trust theater, is a focal point of Pittsburgh's Cultural District. The 2,800-seat theater is home to Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presentations. The Trust provides priority programming dates on the Benedum stage to Cultural District resident companies, and the venue is available on a rental basis to promoters and community groups.
The facility opened as the Stanley Theater on February 27, 1928. James Bly Clark, an early theater tycoon who assisted in the founding of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, financed the $3 million project. The Stanley was billed as “Pittsburgh’s Palace of Amusement.” In attendance on opening night were Governor John S. Fisher, Mayor Charles H. Kline, and Adolph Zukor, president of Paramount Studios. Regular admission cost 65 cents—25 cents if you came before noon—and performances provided a welcome lift of spirits during the Great Depression. The theater was purchased and remodeled by the Cinemette Corporation in 1976. In 1977, DiCesare Engler Productions bought the Stanley and presented rock and roll concerts through 1982.
Following the renovation of the Loew's Penn Theater to Heinz Hall, the late H.J. Heinz II focused his attention on the historic restoration of the Stanley Theater. This became the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s first project after its founding in 1984. The $43 million restoration faithfully restored this cultural treasure to its 1928 opening night glory. By following the very strict restoration standards set by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Commonwealth Bureau of Historic Preservation, and the Historic Review Commission of Pennsylvania, the building is registered with the National Register of Historic Places.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.
|Programs||Music performances, Dance performances, Theater performances, Lectures, Tours|