The building opened in 1966 that eventually came to house the Center Stage Theater initially started as a performing arts venue that existed as a memorial and a tribute to the passions of young woman who died in a plane crash. In many ways, although the type of show has changed and diversified, the venue to this day continues to honor the legacy of live entertainment in Atlanta by bringing some of the best acts and artists from around the globe to the heart of Atlanta. It also serves as a platform to help elevate local Atlanta artists to a national profile.
We spoke to Danielle Sudderth, marketing manager and current operator of the venue at Rival Entertainment, about the storied space and some of the upcoming shows at the Center Stage Theater.
The Center Stage Theater has existed since 1966. Can you tell us a bit about the history of the building?
Center Stage has taken on multiple names and functions over the 50+ years! It was originally known as Theatre Atlanta and was mostly used for performance arts, complete with cocktail lounges, a restaurant, and classrooms.
The Center Stage name came around in the 1980s, while the venue still operated mostly as a performance arts theatre. Rival Entertainment took over in 2009, as the venue transitioned into being more concert-oriented. Vinyl opened in 2003 and The Loft opened in 2005, as additional music venues at the Center Stage Complex.
What imprint did Rival Entertainment make on the venue upon assuming ownership?
Rival Entertainment is based out of and operates Center Stage but it is not limited to it. The company produces shows all over the city at many other venues and locations. The company also has 20+ years of combined industry experience between its active partners, who help bring a dynamic list of artists to Atlanta.
What kinds of music and artists do you try and curate at the venue?
Any – there really aren’t any limitations here! The three venues have metal, rock, hip-hop, pop, and every type of indie that exists!
Is there anything unique or quirky about the space that brings a different experience to seeing a show there?
Center Stage Theater is a very unique room. It’s shaped like a mini arena with seating around a bowl and a general admission floor area (that can be filled with seats, if needed). There really isn’t a bad seat in the house. The very back row of seats has a clear view of the stage, from just about 80 feet away!
There really aren’t any other rooms in the city where you can get a clear view from anywhere, even when it’s sold out at 1,000 people.
What upcoming shows are you most excited about?
We have legendary hip hop artist Jay Electronica for his first ever headlining show in Atlanta – we’re praying that album drops before, though! That’s on March 8th.
We also have two sold-out nights of DVSN in February. The indie-electronic fan in me is so excited for O.M.D. in April too! We also have Jon Foreman, of Switchfoot, bringing his movie + concert tour, on March 7th – that should be a really unique concert experience!
Center Stage Theater
1374 West Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Machine Head | February 6th, 2018 | Tickets
DVSN | February 12th & 13th, 2018 | Tickets
Josh Garrels | February 22nd, 2018 | Tickets
Molotov | February 23rd, 2018 | Tickets
Eric Johnson w/ Tommy Taylor & Arielle | February 24th, 2018 | Tickets
Tape Face | February 27th, 2018 | Tickets
Jon Foreman | March 7th, 2018 | Tickets
Jay Electronica | March 8th, 2018 | Tickets
LP w/ Noah Kahan | March 10th, 2018 | Tickets
O.M.D. | April 10th, 2018 | Tickets
Ministry w/ Chelsea Wolfe | April 25th, 2018 | Tickets
Natalia Lafourcade | May 9th, 2018 | Tickets
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