Through inventive design and careful construction, the Lory Student Center Theatre isn’t just a theatre anymore.
On Aug. 24, 2012, Colorado State University hosted the Grand Opening of the newly-refreshed Lory Student Center Theatre. After nearly a year of revitalization and modernization, the Theatre is ready to open its doors and showcase new high-tech and multi-faceted features. Students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members were invited to attend the Grand Opening, which featured a day-long celebration culminating in a showing of this spring’s blockbuster movie, The Avengers, sponsored by G.U.I.D.E. (Gaining Understanding through Involvement, Diversity, and Education).
Students visited the LSC Plaza beginning at 11 a.m. to experience music, grab a snack, and to check out a few surprises popping up throughout the day. To add to the excitement, ASAP hosted a booth on the plaza with information on this year’s RamJam. The musical event will feature Top 40 performers Cobra Starship and Breathe Carolina, a band originating from Denver. Once students navigated the plaza, staff was stationed around the Theatre offering mini-tours and information on all of the Theatre’s unique, high-tech, and artistic features.
The structural and design integrity of the Theatre remain, but attendees were able to see an amazing transformation tucked behind slate-colored doors. Contained within is one of the first retractable seating systems of its kind in the United States. This versatile seating, which can move around to accommodate a variety of performances and functions, holds 500 and can retract to leave floor space completely open. Above the state-of-the-art seating hang individually-controllable, energy-efficient LED lights capable of changing to almost any color. Surrounding the entire expanse is a 360-degree balcony that can seat attendees or be left open. To highlight these features, a huge window in the back of the Theatre allows beautiful Colorado sunlight to wash over the interior of the venue.
The Theatre’s functionality has also been updated and when the Lory Student Center begins undergoing big changes in the spring of 2013, this venue can be used as a location for a variety of University functions that once were held in the Student Center ballrooms. Updates also include increased accessibility and a gender-inclusive restroom. Information can be obtained by contacting the Events Planning office at (970) 491-0229 for those interested in opportunities to use the venue for office functions, celebrations, and student organization events.
After guests spent time taking in the new scenery, they witnessed first-hand some of the Theatre’s endless possibilities. In the early evening, Resonant RAMblings, CSU’s premier and trendy pop, rock, and R&B a cappella group, performed. The group can replicate sounds of almost any instrument, from drum to electric guitar, and showcased awe-inspiring acoustics available in the updated venue. At 7 p.m., guests were able to grab a hot dog, some popcorn, and a soda and take a seat in front of the massive drop-down projection screen to enjoy a showing of The Avengers. Between Resonant RAMblings and the movie, guests could walk just down the hall and attend the opening reception of “Our Visual History: 50 Years of Art in the Lory Student Center” in the Curfman Gallery. The exhibition provided a historical snapshot of visual art in the Student Center.
The renovation of the Lory Student Center Theatre is the first step in rejuvenating the Student Center. Maintaining the important history of the venue, its overall design scheme, and incorporating old pieces in modern design are all concepts the LSC plans on continuing throughout the building. Beginning in the spring of 2013, the revitalization project is already being inspired by elements of the updated Theatre.
The Grand Opening served as an important stepping stone for upcoming celebrations of the Lory Student Center’s 50th Anniversary. Just like students in the 1960s had no idea of the impact the LSC would have on future classes, the future of the Theatre and the Student Center cannot be predicted, but designers, architects, and LSC representatives carefully prepared these state-of-the-art venues for the next 50 years and beyond.