Back

The Kennedy Center Logo

Eisenhower Theater

The Eisenhower Theater, traditionally home to many of the Kennedy Center’s theater and dance performances, opened in 2008 after a 16-month, $17.9 million renovation. The theater now seats 1,164 people (up from 1100), making it approximately comparable in size to many Broadway theater houses. The theater contains an orchestra pit for 35 musicians that is convertible to a forestage or additional seating space. The gold [fabric is from France] curtain was also replaced during the recent renovations.

Cosmetically, the theater boasts a new color scheme (blue and gold with bronze and stainless steel railings and trim, instead of the previous red and dark wood paneling) and improved décor—the light fixtures, ash wall paneling, and wood-backed seats are all new. Additionally, there is new stage lighting, a new state-of-the-art sound system, and better sound isolation from the Terrace Theater, which is directly above the Eisenhower.