The refurbished exterior of the armory building.
From Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, April 7, 1888.
After four years of planning and renovation, Portland Center Stage welcomes Portlanders to a community celebration of its new home, The Gerding Theater at the Armory.
To commemorate the rebirth of this 115-year-old Portland fixture, Portland Center Stage and Portland Family of Funds are hosting a street party from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 1 on Northwest Davis Street between Ninth and 11th avenues. Admission is free; food and beverages will be available at modest prices.
The new theater features two state-of-the-art theater venues, a lobby with a café, interactive educational exhibits and environmentally conscious building and operational designs, all within its historically preserved and seismically upgraded architectural shell.
The street party will feature live entertainment — including a celebratory Chinese Lion Dance, the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers and the Mel Brown B3 Organ Band — from an outdoor stage at the corner of Northwest Ninth Avenue and Davis Street. Several Pearl District restaurants will offer snacks, and a beer garden will be set up opposite the stage.
Information about historic preservation, sustainable design and the building's community features will be available, and guest lecturers on the armory's history and design will speak throughout the day.
The theater's new lobby will be open for the public to explore, as will a series of interactive displays by Portland's Second Story Interactive Studios. The displays provide information about the theater company and its productions, the armory's history, the relationship between historic preservation and environmental sustainability and the donors who helped to make the restoration project a reality.
Free tours of the theater will begin at 15-minute intervals throughout the afternoon. Several guests at a time will be able to peek in at a rehearsal for the company's season opening production, West Side Story.
For more information, visit www.pcs.org.