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Portland Center for the Performing Arts

Portland, OR

Portland Center for the Performing Arts

Portland, OR

Located on a two-block site, the award-winning Portland Center for the Performing Arts includes three national historic buildings. The renovation included a 1928 historic movie theatre and a vaudeville house transformed into the elegant 2,776-seat Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Also, the addition of the new theatre building housing three performance theaters.

The result is a beloved cultural destination for Portlander. It offers venues for contemporary music, opera, symphonies, Broadways, and the dramatic arts that moderates between a bustling downtown neighborhood at its front door and a leafy urban park to the west.

Integrated together by way of a through street, the two venues can be closed to traffic. Here the Center can host special outdoor events while also allowing patrons to mingle freely during intermission and after performances.

Today, these venues host a variety of community activities. Deemed “The Schnitz” by locals, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall was first called the Portland Public Theatre. Later, it was renamed the Paramount Theatre before renovations. The new name comes from the generous donation from Portlanders Arlene and Harold Schnitzer. Their generosity was crucial in restoring this community gem.

Read more about Bora Arts and Cultural projects or visit the Portland Center for the Performing Arts website to find a schedule of how you can enjoy this downtown community asset. 


95,000sf renovation 127,000sf addition


Merit Award, USITT
Merit Award, AIA Portland
Honor Award, AIA East Bay
Design Excellence, Progressive Architecture


ELS Architects
Barton, Myers and Associates
CH2M Hill

Theatre Projects
R. Lawrence Kirkegaard and Associates
James Carpenter