After years of planning, the Anoka Ramsey Performing Arts Center opens with a monumental production of Hello, Dolly in November of 1976. Read the entire article from the College newspaper, Salmagundi:
The seats were originally colored like a rainbow and changed colors from back to front. The current house was upgraded in 2002 with new seats, carpet, and color scheme (see picture below).
The main entrance (street level) was replaced and upgraded into the current vestibule in 1999.
This upgrade added much-needed dimension and visual interest to the main audience entrance and provides a much more welcoming experience for audiences.
The loading doors into the scene shop were also replaced and upgraded to a street level garage door allowing much easier flow of materials and scenery into and out of the shop.
The Performing Arts Center provides rehearsal and classroom space for the Theatre Department and performance space for the Theatre and Music Department as well as various campus and off-campus groups.
The PAC houses a proscenium-style theatre with continental seating for 330. With only 12 rows, no seat is farther than 40 feet from the stage. The acoustics are excellent in this modern venue. The 40-foot wide stage allows for intimate box sets, full-scale musicals, even opera and ballet. Three departmental productions are staged here each season along with multiple music concerts and recitals. The front (apron) portion of the stage can be lowered to accommodate a full orchestra for musicals. Also the stage is equipped with 31 counterweight linesets that allow scenery, curtains, and lighting to be rigged, raised and lowered easily.
The lobby was upgraded and expanded in 2002. Additions included a new ticket booth, entrance vestibules, lighting, and additional floorspace gained by extending the front wall/windows further into the courtyard.
The front of the PAC as it appears today - check the photo at the top to see a comparison to 1976.