After more than a year of renovation, Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center Theatre reopened its doors on Aug. 24. The opening also kicked off the center’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Photo courtesy of CSU
Renovation of the CSU theater included creating a flat floor and expandable seating, allowing more space for concerts, ballroom events, banquets and receptions.
Photo courtesy of CSU
The late August grand reopening also kicked off the centers 50th anniversary celebration.

The Lory Student Center Theatre began construction last summer and opened only one year later. The new theater incorporates more flexibility for events by having a flat floor and expandable seating, allowing for more concerts, ballroom events, banquets and receptions, as well as events requiring tiered seating. Additions to the building include bathrooms, a new green room and a small catering service.

The structural and design integrity of the theater remain, but the real transformation is tucked behind its slate-colored doors. It now features one of the first retractable seating systems of its kind in the United States. The versatile seating, which moves around to accommodate a variety of performances and functions, holds up to 500 people and can retract to leave the floor space completely open.

Above the state-of-the-art seating hang individually controllable, energy-efficient LED lights that can change to almost any color.

Surrounding the entire expanse is a 360-degree balcony. To highlight these features, a large window at the back of the theater allows sunlight into the interior of the venue.

The theater’s functionality has also been updated, and when the Lory Student Center itself begins a renovation in spring 2013, the entire venue can be used for a variety of university functions once held in the student center ballrooms. Updates also include increased accessibility and a gender-inclusive restroom.

The renovation was designed by Aller·Lingle·Massey Architects PC,
Fort Collins; Perkins + Will, Boston, and built by Adolfson & Peterson Construction of Aurora.

“The Lory Student Center Theatre has a rich and storied history in hosting a variety of arts programs for CSU and Fort Collins, and while its role and purpose has changed in responding to students’ needs, it will continue to serve our community in important ways by serving as a gathering place for campus celebrations, programs and events,” said Mike Ellis, executive director of the Lory Student Center.