The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts has a lot of visitors – about 400,000 per year, spread between 600 performances in four auditoriums.
“It gets beat up,” said Jim Lavery, general manager for the Raleigh Convention Center, which includes the performing arts complex on the south end of Fayetteville Street.
“We’ve got something going on every day.”
There are scuffs on the carpet, scratches on the varnished wood and often impatient crowds in the cramped women’s bathrooms. So, starting around June, the city of Raleigh will put more than $10 million into a renovation of the facility.
The project will include new lighting inside and out, a rebuilt concessions area, new fire-safety and security systems – and a lot of new paint. Lavery expects the renovations will be finished within a few months.
It’s the first major update in 25 years for Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, the original theater at the heart of the center. The modern wings – Meymandi Concert Hall, Fletcher Opera Theater and Kennedy Theater – haven’t seen significant renovations since they opened in 2001.
The complex features layers of rooms and walls, with sections dating back to 1932, when the central auditorium opened. Before then, the site had been home to ...