Amidst the Great Depression, the Public Works Administration sought and gained approval (and funds) for what would become one of Little Rock’s most beloved landmarks. Construction of the Joseph Taylor Robinson Memorial Auditorium began in December of 1937 and was completed in January of 1940. Known as the Robinson Center Music Hall since 1973, the auditorium is home to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and hosts countless acts each year. The doors officially closed on July 1, 2014 to begin a $70M renovation project. With the ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled just days away on November 10, Little Rock residents can’t wait to see what improvements have been made!
Looking Toward the Future
According to the Robinson Center Facebook page, much of the outside structure has remained the same, while the inside has a complete makeover. Many are excited to see the new lobby. The older facilities were not equipped to handle the number of guests that visit the center. The new addition will not just be large, but beautiful. It includes a glass lobby that overlooks the river as seen in the rendition below.
A complete list of the upcoming season events, beginning with the ASO, can be found here on the Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau homepage.
Much excitement is in store for visitors to Robinson’s ‘Second Act’ including Elf: The Musical, the Moscow Ballet and Eagle’s artist Don Henley.
Other notable performers from the hall’s past include Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Mae West and Louis Armstrong. With such a strong history and an anticipated bright future, Robinson Center should continue to foster a love of the arts in Little Rock and build a legacy of pride for the downtown area.