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DeVos Performance Hall Celebrated 40th Anniversary in October 2020


Throughout the entire month of October DeVos Performance Hall celebrated their 40th Anniversary with historical photos, fun facts and staff and community memories posted on the website and social media accounts; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In addition, PBS-WGVU produced a “WGVU Community Connection” special focusing on the anniversary that aired Thursday, October 22 at 6:00 PM. NPR-WGVU's Shelley Irwin also aired a special feature on "The Morning Show" on Friday, October 16 at 9:00 AM, as well as weekly interviews and daily fun facts. Irwin also highlighted favorite memories from community members and DeVos Performance Hall staff on-air, and shared anniversary content on the Facebook pages for WGVU's Morning Show and Shelley Irwin.

DeVos Performance Hall is a 2,543-seat performing arts theater featuring performances by all four Grand Rapids arts groups including The Grand Rapids Symphony, The Grand Rapids Ballet, Broadway Grand Rapids and Opera Grand Rapids. DeVos Performance Hall provides an intimate setting for these Grand Rapids arts groups as well as other touring concerts and family shows. Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids the theater is located inside DeVos Place which is nestled along the picturesque Grand River.

DeVos Performance Hall has hosted numerous concerts including B.B. King, James Taylor, John Mellencamp, Harry Connick Jr., Aretha Franklin and Alice Cooper; comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Brian Regan and Aziz Ansari; and family shows including Peppa Pig Live, Wild Kratts Live, Sesame Street Live and Daniel Tiger Live throughout the 40 years of operation.

Top 10 Improvements


Over the past 40 years DeVos Performance Hall has undergone various enhancements and upgrades. Here's a list of the Top 10 Improvements made over the last 40 years:

  1. The outer lobby was expanded to include a new box office and enhance the ambiance of the theater entryway. Additionally, it is used frequently by the arts groups and other event promoters as a space for merchandise and extra promotions.
  2. An electronic scrolling marquee was installed on the east side of the building. The marquee is used to promote events taking place inside the theater as well as used to promote upcoming events when the theater is empty.
  3. A Tele-coil hearing loop system was installed for the hearing impaired and allows hearing aids to serve as wireless loudspeakers, delivering clear, sharp, customized sound right inside the ear.
  4. The theater seats were refurbished for added comfort and space for patrons.
  5. LED lights were installed along the sides of the theater. These lights can change colors creating an enhanced ambiance for patrons and allows the theater to correspond with the host production.
  6. The DeVos Performance Hall stage was expanded in order to host larger productions.
  7. As a part of the ongoing efforts to become as environmentally responsible as possible, DeVos Performance Hall installed new recycling containers made completely of recyclable materials.
  8. A new sound system was installed to enhance the sound experience for patrons.
  9. DeVos Performance Hall remodeled the restrooms inside the Keeler Lobby renovating all restrooms and switching the men's rooms to women's. In addition, new men's restrooms were constructed in the outer lobby.
  10. The fly rail system is currently being replaced. A fly rail system, or theatrical rigging system, is a system of rope lines, blocks, counterweights and related devices within a theater that enables a stage crew to fly quickly, quietly and safely components such as curtains, lights, scenery, stage effects, and sometimes people.
Construction on the new fly rail being installed. 

STAFF & COMMUNITY MEMORIES

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