Veterans Memorial Auditorium (Providence, Rhode Island)

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Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The VETS)
Temple-Aud.jpg
AddressOne Avenue of the Arts
Providence, Rhode Island
OwnerState of Rhode Island
OperatorProfessional Facilities Management
TypePerforming arts center
Capacity1,931
OpenedJanuary 27, 1950
Website
www.thevetsri.com
Veterans Memorial Auditorium--Masonic Temple
Coordinates41°49′47.45″N 71°25′2.73″W / 41.8298472°N 71.4174250°W / 41.8298472; -71.4174250Coordinates: 41°49′47.45″N 71°25′2.73″W / 41.8298472°N 71.4174250°W / 41.8298472; -71.4174250
Area1.25 acres (0.51 ha)
Built1927
ArchitectMultiple
Architectural styleClassical Revival
NRHP reference #93001181 [1]
Added to NRHPNovember 16, 1993

Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The VETS; formerly VMA) is a performing arts theater in Providence, Rhode Island. Construction began in 1928, but was delayed by the Great Depression. The theater was finally completed in 1950.[2] Noted local architect Oresto DiSaia was given the contract to plan the completion.[3] The VETS is among the oldest arts venues in Rhode Island and is on the National Register of Historic Places.[4] It was completely restored in 1990. The ornately designed 1,931-seat concert hall houses the largest theater stage in Rhode Island and is considered[by whom?] to have some of the best acoustics in New England. The performance space features a gilded proscenium arch, allegorical and heraldic ceiling murals. The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra holds several concerts at The VETS each year. In addition, The VETS hosts a broad range of events each season, offering a variety of performances, rehearsals, exhibitions, concerts, educational events, meetings, and other special events. Since 1950, when the theater opened, it had begun to fall into disrepair and in the early 1980s the state of Rhode Island was thinking of closing the auditorium and the adjoining Masonic Temple and reducing the complex to a parking lot. In 1983, the Veterans Memorial Auditorium Preservation Association (VMAPA) was formed to try to save the auditorium. They rallied for five years and in 1988 Governor DiPrete awarded the VMAPA with $5 million for the building's renovation. Since that time it has been a center for the arts. In 2015 The VETS completed another series of renovations making it a state of the art performance facility. The Renaissance Providence Hotel, formerly the Masonic Temple, is adjacent to The VETS.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ National Park Service (2006-03-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Barbarisi, Daniel (May 20, 2007). "Temple Digs". Providence Journal. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
  3. ^ http://www.preservation.ri.gov/pdfs_zips_downloads/national_pdfs/providence/prov_brownell-street_veterans-memorial-auditorium-and-masonic-temple.pdf
  4. ^ Rhode Island Historic Preservation Society - National Register locations. Accessed May 17, 2007.

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