ASU's Gammage Auditorium celebrates 50th anniversary

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz. - One of Tempe's most well-known and well-loved landmarks is celebrating a major milestone. ASU's Gammage Auditorium is turning 50!

Gammage has been the home of everything from presidential debates to Broadway hit shows. Patrons have enjoyed countless musical and theatrical performances over the past five decades, including the recent successful run of the musical Kinky Boots.

Executive Director Colleen Jennings-Roggensack says ASU Gammage is celebrating its 50th Anniversary by conducting a free open house this weekend.

Guided and self-guided tours of the building and backstage will be offered. "This is everyone's opportunity to see the backstage," she says. "It's the one area: everyone says, I'd love to go backstage! I'd love to stand on the Gammage stage."

More than 20 restaurants will be on site for the celebration, offering patrons free samples of food and drink. Guests will also enjoy birthday cake every hour, and kids' activities will be offered in the lobby.

There is a lot of history in the building. In 1957, then-ASU President Grady Gammage had a vision to create a distinct university auditorium on the campus of Arizona State University.

ASU Gammage celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 18, 1964. Its first Broadway performance – "Camelot" – was that same year. Construction of the $2.46 million building had taken 25 months.

The only public building in Arizona designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Gammage Auditorium stands 80 feet high and measures 300 by 250 feet. Two pedestrian bridges add to the feeling of vastness, extending 200 feet from the building.

50th Anniversary Open House
Sunday, September 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ASU Gammage
Mill & Apache, Tempe, AZ 85287
Box Office: 480.965.3434
Admin: 480.965.5062