|Address||95 South Turnpike Road
Wallingford, Connecticut 06492
|Former name(s)||Oakdale Theatre (1957–98)
SNET Oakdale Theatre (1998–2002)
CareerBuilder.com Oakdale Theatre (2002–05)
Chevrolet Theatre (2005-09)
Founding and early years
The 1,200-seat Oakdale Theatre opened in 1957, under a tent in the middle of an alfalfa field. Starting as a summer stock theater, the facility has grown over the years. In 1972, the tent was replaced with a wooden dome that accommodated 3,000 seats. A rotating stage was located in the center, creating a theater in the round.
In the mid-1990s, the Oakdale was transformed again to become a year-round 5,000-seat performing arts center. The project changed the facility from a theater-in-the-round to an end-stage, amphitheater arrangement. Ground-breaking took place in late 1995 and the new 120,000-square-foot (11,000 m2) theater was completed in mid-summer 1996. The $20 million project included the design of a new theater, with the old "dome" becoming its lobby, a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) stage house with orchestra pit and trap room, backstage support including performers and crew accommodations, a loading dock and scenery-handling area, public spaces, restrooms, and extensive indoor and outdoor concessions. It is now the largest theater in the state of Connecticut. The new theater was officially opened by country superstars Brooks & Dunn.
In 1998, the Oakdale Theatre was acquired by SFX Entertainment (now Live Nation) for $12 million. It was renamed the CareerBuilder.com Oakdale Theater in the early 2000s and later, the Chevrolet Theatre in deference to corporate sponsors. However, despite such sponsorship, it remains known to patrons (and many Wallingford area locals) as simply "The Oakdale".
Oakdale hosts major touring productions and Broadway shows, in addition to contemporary pop, rock, R&B, country and comedy talent. The theater was also a brief topic on the Fox animated comedy series Family Guy.
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