Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

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Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Address 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway
Cumberland, Georgia
United States
Coordinates 33°53′02″N 84°27′29″W / 33.883803°N 84.458063°W / 33.883803; -84.458063Coordinates: 33°53′02″N 84°27′29″W / 33.883803°N 84.458063°W / 33.883803; -84.458063
Parking 1000 spaces[1]
Owner Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority
Operator Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority
Type Performing arts center
Capacity 2,750
Opened September 15, 2007
Architect Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates

The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is a performing arts venue located in the Cumberland/Galleria edge city, just northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. The $145 million facility celebrated its grand opening on September 15, 2007 with a concert by Michael Feinstein and Linda Eder.[2][1]

Located in Cobb County near Vinings, the venue is owned and operated by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, and took over two years to build.[2] The naming rights for the facility were acquired for $20 million by Cobb Energy Management Corp.[3] Real estate developer John A. Williams' personal donation of $10 million led to the theater itself being named in his honor.[4]

Design and construction[edit]


The Cobb Energy Centre is located at the east corner of Akers Mill Road and Cobb Galleria Parkway, overlooking I-75 just south of the I-285 highway interchange (the Cobb Cloverleaf).[5] It was designed by architects Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates,[6] and built by general contractor Hardin Construction.[7]

The asymmetrical top of the building rises in swirls similar to a soft-serve ice-cream cone over the multi-story glass facade that allows views of the grand alabaster staircase and lobbies beyond when lit at night.[6] The rising waves were meant to soften the transition to the fly tower required over the stage.[5] Just inside the entrance, visitors are greeted by the commissioned mural "The Nine Muses" by Jimmy O'Neal.[6] The ten 600-pound (270 kg) gold and Murano glass chandeliers in the main lobby[5] and those in the ballroom evoke the glass art of Dale Chihuly.[6] The interior throughout the Centre makes extensive use of traditional theater colors such red and gold as well as dark wood finishes. The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is the only performing arts center in memory to be complete within schedule and budget.[6]

Performance and other venues[edit]

John A. Williams Theatre[edit]

Chihuly-like ballroom chandeliers.

This 2,750-seat theater at the core of the Centre was designed to accommodate both acoustic and amplified performances with the specific intent of attracting touring companies of Broadway shows.[5]

Within the theatre itself, seating is distributed on three levels — orchestra, mezzanine and grand tier — and fourteen balcony boxes. The most distant seat in the upper level (Grand Tier) is only 160 feet (49 m) from the stage.[5] Metallic-mesh triangular screens undulate across the ceiling to hide catwalks. The stage features a hydraulic lift for the 30-foot (9m) deep orchestra pit large enough for 84 musicians.[5] The theatre is surrounded by a two-foot (60cm) thick concrete wall on the perimeter for acoustic isolation.[5]

The Centre's first resident company is the Atlanta Opera, which relocated from the cavernous Atlanta Civic Center in downtown Atlanta.[8] The Opera's first production in the new facility was Puccini's Turandot.[9]


The facility includes a 10,000 square foot (950m²) ballroom available for event rental.[7]

Other facilities[edit]

The adjoining parking deck has 1,000 spaces.[1] It also has access to Cobb Community Transit, which may move its Cumberland Transfer Station over I-75 adjacent to the center if the Northwest Corridor HOV/BRT is built. (Currently there is just HOV-only half-access at this point, for Akers Mill Road to 75 southbound and from 75 northbound.) The parking deck for the "bus rapid transit" station would be next to the Centre.


The Centre is home to the Gas South Broadway Series, The Atlanta Opera and Atlanta Ballet. In addition the venue has hosted numerous other concerts and events, including Demi Lovato, Alice Cooper, ABBA, Incognito, Melissa Etheridge, Bill Maher, Harry Connick, Jr., Norah Jones, Dave Koz and Eddie Izzard.

The building also appeared in the first season of the television show The Walking Dead, its exterior being used to represent the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[10]

The Cobb Energy Centre was also the venue chosen to host the 2015 SMITE World Championships on January 9th - 12th, 2015, which was the 3rd highest paying event in esports history.[11]



  1. ^ a b c AJC Staff (2007-09-12). "Cobb Arts Centre: Everything you need to know". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2007-09-17. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b Pascual, Aixa M. (2007-09-12). "Ribbon cutting held at Cobb Energy Centre". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2007-09-17. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Cobb Performing Arts Center naming rights sold". Atlanta Business Chronicle. 2005-01-26. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  4. ^ "Atlanta Performing Arts Center Receives $10 Million". Foundation Center. 2005-09-25. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Monroe, Doug (2007-09-17). "Virtuoso Performance". Georgia Trend. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Fox, Catherine (2007-09-09). "Arts center concept falls short in execution". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  7. ^ a b Opdyke, Tom (2007-09-13). "Cobb Energy Centre, $145 million facility for events big and small". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2007-09-17. [dead link]
  8. ^ Mattison, Ben (2006-05-11). "Atlanta Opera to Move to New Suburban Theater". Playbill. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  9. ^ Brett, Jennifer (2007-09-29). "Skeptics take to opera's new digs in Cobb". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2007-10-23. [dead link]
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links[edit]