First Interstate Center for the Arts

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First Interstate Center for the Arts
INB Performing Arts Center Logo.png
INB Performing Arts Center - North.jpg
Exterior view of venue from Riverfront Park (c.2011)
Former namesWashington State Pavilion Opera House (1974)
Spokane Opera House (1974-2006)
INB Performing Arts Center(2006-18)
Address334 W Spokane Falls Blvd
Spokane, WA 99201-0212
OwnerSpokane Public Facilities District
OpenedMay 1, 1974 (1974-05-01)
RenovatedLate 2000s - Early 2010s; 2018
Construction costUS$10.8 million[1]
($64.7 million in 2018 dollars[2])
Venue Website

The First Interstate Center for the Arts is a 2,700-seat theater and entertainment venue in Spokane, Washington. It is located in Downtown Spokane along the south bank of the Spokane River adjacent to the Spokane Convention Center. The facility is owned and operated by the Spokane Public Facilities District.


After a two years of construction from 1972-1974 for the Expo '74 in Spokane, the venue officially opened as the Washington State Pavilion Opera House on May 1, 1974.[3] A gala took place to celebrate the grand opening of the opera house which included performances by Roberta Peters of the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet's Edward Villella, and Lucette Aldous.[4]

Transfer of ownership to Spokane[edit]

After the world's fair ended, operations and management of the facility along with the Spokane Convention Center were transferred to the City of Spokane, with the plan that the city would eventually take ownership of the building from the State of Washington. The legislative bill to transfer the ownership to the city was signed on April 20, 1979 in a special ceremony in front of the Opera House with then-Washington State Governor Dixy Lee Ray, although the actual legal transfer of the property would not take place until 90 days after the current state legislative session ended.[5]

Spokane Public Facilities District era[edit]

The facility was owned and operated by the City of Spokane until September 2, 2003 when it transferred both the ownership and operations of the Spokane Opera House along with the Spokane Convention Center to the Spokane Public Facilities District.[6] In 2006, Spokane-based Inland Northwest Bank purchased the naming rights to the Spokane Opera House in a 10-year, $1.5 million deal[7] and the facility was renamed to the INB Performing Arts Center. In December 2015, it was announced that INB's naming rights deal was renewed for an additional 10 year period.[8] On September 19, 2018, the facility was renamed the First Interstate Center for the Arts[9][10][11] after First Interstate BancSystem, which had completed its acquisition of Northwest Bancorporation, Inc., the parent company of Inland Northwest Bank, a month prior on August 16, 2018. At the time of closing, First Interstate announced plans to phase out the Inland Northwest Bank name in November 2018.[12]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Few changes planned". The Spokesman-Review. 1979-04-15.
  2. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Powers, Dorothy (1973-06-28). "Preview set for Expo `74". The Spokesman-Review.
  4. ^ Bartel, Frank (May 2, 1974). "New cultural era launched". Spokane Daily Chronicle.
  5. ^ "Few changes planned". The Spokesman-Review. 1979-04-15.
  6. ^ "District History". Spokane Public Facilities District. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  7. ^ Boggs, Alison. "Opera House enters new aria". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  8. ^ "INB Renews SPFD Partnership". Inland Northwest Bank. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  9. ^ "SPFD Unveils New Name For The Performing Arts Center". Wisdom Digital Media. Broadway World. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  10. ^ Nailen, Dan (19 September 2018). "Goodbye INB Performing Arts Center, hello First Interstate Center for the Arts". Inlander. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  11. ^ Lamberson, Carolyn (19 September 2018). "Spokane's INB Performing Arts Center gets a new name and a major update". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  12. ^ "First Interstate BancSystem, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Northwest Bancorporation, Inc". First Interstate Bank - Press Release. First Interstate BancSystem, Inc. Retrieved 20 September 2018.

Coordinates: 47°39′38″N 117°25′02″W / 47.660600°N 117.417165°W / 47.660600; -117.417165