The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines is a 2,744-seat performing arts center located in Des Moines, Iowa. It has been Iowa's largest theater since it opened on June 10, 1979, and is used for concerts, Broadway shows, ballets, and other special events.The Civic Center building is also home to the 200-seat Stoner Studio Theater, used for smaller theatrical shows and lectures, located on street level.Together with the Stoner Studio Theater and the nearby Temple for the Performing Arts, the Civic Center is part of the Des Moines Performing Arts.In 1972, the KRNT Theater closed.
The loss of the 45 year-old theater left downtown Des Moines without a major cultural venue. A group of community leaders attempted to pass a referendum to construct a theater in 1974, but, needing 60% approval, it received only 54% and failed.After the narrow defeat, Des Moines business leaders decided to form a privately held, not-for-profit corporation to build and run a performing arts facility. The city's largest fundraising effort at the time raised $9.3 million to build the Civic Center in fewer than 90 days.After an introductory open house on June 10, 1979, the first public performance was by the Des Moines Ballet on June 14. The Civic Center is noted for its acoustics, and is handicapped-accessible. In addition, no seat is more than 145 feet (44 m) away from the stage. All seats are on one level.