The flexibility to transform a performance space quickly and effectively, both in the audience as well as on stage, is critical to multipurpose halls. In 2008, The Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation was created to undertake the renovation of the historic San Antonio Municipal Auditorium and convert it into a world-class multi-use performing arts centre. It is now scheduled to open with The Ballet San Antonio, OPERA San Antonio and members of San Antonio Symphony when they perform together on the Performance Hall Stage on September 4th 2014.
The Tobin Center for the Performing arts is a unique venue with a state-of-the-art facility for San Antonio’s cultural arts groups. It was the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation’s vision to host large touring shows, the San Antonio Symphony, the San Antonio Opera and other performances within the Tobin multipurpose auditorium; additionally they wanted a venue that could provide a space for local theatre and performance groups. The highly flexible space within the main auditorium has been designed to make it accessible to either large or small events or performances, without the need to segregate events into two separate and unequal spaces. The auditorium is outfitted with a 750-seat Gala Venue reconfiguration system that can convert the traditional raked seating to a tiered configuration, a flat floor, a tiered cabaret, or to any number of varied configurations depending on specific event/performance requirements.
The Tobin Center is located next to the winding river walk canal which is continually in the process of being upgraded livening up this part of San Antonio. Mark Reddington, a principal of LMN Architects, speaking to Scott Andrews of the San Antonio Current newspaper, comments that this is “a terrific amenity for the community”. The versatility of the Gala Venue with individual-row, seat-riser system provides the diversity and speed of changeover required to suit the various event requirements. The quick midday or overnight conversions are possible with this system, increasing the potential capacity of the venue substantially. “The investment [in a mechanical floor/seat system] is expected to add more than 70 days of rental capability.” (at least 54% additional events).Said Bill Moll, communications committee chairman for the foundation’s board
The Gala Venue system has given the Tobin Center for the Arts its best foundation for diverse performances and financial success adding many other revenue streams that would otherwise not have been possible. “Ancillary earnings from special events and their related food and beverage revenues have become much more important in the effort of facility managers to not only ease the difficult burden of annual fundraising to support operations, but in some cases to approach break even operations.” Bud Franks, Franks and Associates, Tobin Center
Gala has been proud to be involved with such an innovative project working closely with LMN Architects, FDA consultants, The Projects Group and Linbeck General Contractors to make the Gala Venue project a real success within The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. We look forward to the opening and seeing the Auditorium come alive for the first time on September 4th.