Cadence Bank Amphitheatre

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Cadence Bank Amphitheatre
Full nameCadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park
Former namesNorth Fulton Park Amphitheater (1944-46)
Chastain Park Amphitheater (1946-2007)
Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater (2007-18)
State Bank Amphitheatre (2018-19)
Address4469 Stella Dr NW
Atlanta, GA 30327
LocationChastain Park, Buckhead, Fulton County
Coordinates33°52′37″N 84°23′49″W / 33.876969°N 84.396948°W / 33.876969; -84.396948Coordinates: 33°52′37″N 84°23′49″W / 33.876969°N 84.396948°W / 33.876969; -84.396948
OwnerCity of Atlanta
Capacity6,900
Construction
Broke ground1942
OpenedJune 20, 1944 (1944-06-20)
Renovated1984, 1998, 2004, 2017-18
Construction cost$100,000
($1.58 million in 2020 dollars[1])
Website
Venue Website

The Cadence Bank Amphitheatre (originally known as North Fulton Park Amphitheatre and formerly Chastain Park Amphitheater) is an outdoor amphitheatre within historic Chastain Park in Atlanta, Georgia. The venue opened in 1944 and is decreed "Atlanta’s Oldest Outdoor Music Venue". The venue attracts more than 200,000 spectators per season after being renovated and re-designed by architect and Atlanta native, Nelson Brackin.[2] The venue, designed by Nelson Brackin, opened in 1944 and is decreed "Atlanta’s Oldest Outdoor Music Venue". The venue attracts more than 200,000 spectators per season.

History[edit]

With the development of the North Fulton Park underway, Fulton County Commissioner Troy Green Chastain wanted to include an outdoor music venue alongside the other amenities of the park. Due to its last-minute addition, original plans saw outdoor bleacher-style seating with a stage and bandshell. Chastain sent scouts to Richmond, Pittsburgh, Daytona Beach, Louisville, and Chicago. The venue was modeled after amphitheatre at Byrd Park in Richmond. Construction began in 1942 and was completed in 1944. The venue opened on June 20, 1944, as the "North Fulton Park Amphitheater".

The amphitheater got off to a slow start, mainly due to the effects of World War II and no promotion of events. Chastain died in 1946, with the venue and park being renamed in his honor. In 1952, the city of Atlanta gained ownership of the venue. The city began offering free concerts for the Atlanta Pops Orchestra, and a year later, an opera series that ran until 1968. At the time, the venue drew more than 30,000 spectators per year. In 1973, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra began its yearly concert series at the venue. During the first concert series, the ASO was conducted by celebrity bandleaders including Frankie Laine, Richard Hayman, Henry Mancini, Marvin Hamlisch and Peter Nero.

The venue went through renovations in 1984, 1998 and 2004. The most notable renovation was completed by architect Nelson Brackin. Brackin was asked to design the renovation of the 6,000 seat amphitheatre in a fast-track approach lasting only a few short months.[2] This renovation including new additions such as new box offices, concession stands in a plaza, restroom expansions, as well as staff/performer spaces like a green room, commissary, kitchen and an office for business.[2]

In 2007, the venue began a sponsorship with Delta Air Lines, now known as the Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater. In March 2018, the Georgia-based State Bank & Trust Company secured naming rights for the venue. The name change took effect April 2, 2018.[3] In January 2019, the State Bank & Trust Company merged with fellow Georgia bank, Cadence Bank.[4] Later in February, Live Nation announced the amphitheatre would take on the sponsored name of Cadence Bank in accordance with the merger.[5] The name change officially took place on March 1, 2019.

About the venue[edit]

The outdoor amphitheater operates only during the summer months. While during most years there are shows between April and October, the majority fall between the end of May and early September. The two main promoters of concerts are the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Live Nation. The capacity is roughly 6,900, with the vast majority of tickets being reserved seating. There is also limited general admission lawn seating at the back of the amphitheater and at stage right. Only a small number of seats are covered.

For all but a few shows a season, tables are set up in the pit and lower part of the orchestra section. Tables seat six, and all six tickets must be purchased together. Those who do not purchase table seats are allowed to bring in tray-sized tables. Also for the table setup shows, food and drinks, including alcohol, are allowed to be brought in for consumption. Elaborate setups with nice food, tablecloths and candles are common. However, there are a small number of shows each season with a "rock" setup. Here there are no tables or carry-ins. Instead of tables in the pit, only rows of chairs are set up. Parking is limited, and traffic can be heavy on nights when the show is sold out.

The amphitheater was once the venue for "Theatre Under the Stars," a summer season of Broadway musicals and/or comedies which always featured a well-known actor as its star.[6] In 1968, after moving into the then-new Atlanta Civic Center, "Theatre Under the Stars" became "Theatre Of the Stars." In the 1980s, "Theatre Of the Stars" moved into the Fox Theatre, and in 2013, the project announced that it was closing after 60 years.[7]

Weapons Policy: Although there are signs there banning weapons, under state law licensed carriers may legally carry their firearms and other lawful weapons there openly or concealed for all events there to which the public is invited, whether ticketed or not. The City of Atlanta is under a permanent Superior Court injunction to not ban weapons in its publicly owned parks.

Also, a Georgia Supreme Court decision, published October 2019 in Georgia Carry v. Atlanta Botanical Garden, states that entities which lease public property may not ban guns unless the lease gives them "estate for years" (ownership rights). The City of Atlanta has not granted ownership rights to any private entities leasing its public parks.

Noted performers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy ofthe United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How much is that in real money?: a historical price index for use as a deflator of money values in the economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Brackin, Nelson. "Nelson Brackin Chastain TEXT". Nelson Brackin Architect. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Hensley, Ellie (April 4, 2018). "State Bank & Trust inks naming rights to Chastain Park Amphitheatre". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Advance Publications. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "Cadence Bancorporation Announces Update to Merger with State Bank Financial Corporation" (Press release). Atlanta, Georgia: Cadence Bancorporation. Business Wire. December 24, 2018. Archived from the original on May 22, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa (February 20, 2019). "Chastain venue gets another name tweak - to Cadence Bank Amphitheatre". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cox Enterprises. Archived from the original on May 22, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "News". Archived from the original on 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  7. ^ "Theater of the Stars to Close - 90.1 FM WABE". Wabe.org. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2017.