Downtown Portland is the city’s hub for live theater, including visiting Broadway productions. Portland’s Centers for the Arts encompasses venues that offer theater, ballets, opera, concerts, and films.
Of all of Portland’s Centers for the Arts’ venues, Keller Auditorium is the one where you’re most likely to catch a show. The venue opened in 1917 as the Portland Public Auditorium and was the city’s first publicly owned venue. The auditorium was almost completely rebuilt in the late 1960s. Only 17 percent of the original structure was incorporated into the new building; the rest was replaced with a more modern exterior. As it stands today, the theater seats 2992. The auditorium got its current name in 2000, after Portlander Richard B. Keller donated 1.5 million to Portland’s Centers for the Arts. The Keller Auditorium’s 2017-2018 season features Broadway productions like The Bodyguard, The Book of Mormon, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Hamilton, Les Misérables, and The Phantom of the Opera. The Keller Auditorium also hosts other live events, including performances from Oregon Ballet Theatre and family-friendly shows like Shopkins Live!
The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall is another of Portland’s Centers for the Arts’ venues. It was called Portland Publix Theatre when it opened in 1927 and became the Paramount Theatre in 1930. There were plans at one point in the 1970s to replace the Paramount with a parking garage, but Portland’s citizens resisted the change, and the venue still stands today—renamed after a family of donors who helped to save and revitalize the building. The building is well-known for its 65 foot vertical PORTLAND sign. It seats 2677 people in orchestra and balcony levels. In addition to orchestra performances, concerts, and dance shows, the Schnitzer Concert Hall also hosts appearances from touring performers like Bill Murray, Trailer Park Boys, and Hillary Clinton.