About Houston Theater District
Learn more about the Houston Theater District with these fun facts!
Did you know...
• More than two million people visit the Houston Theater District annually to experience its magic and excitement.
• With 12,948 seats for live performances and 1,480 movie seats, the Houston Theater District ranks second behind New York City for the number of theater seats in a concentrated downtown area.
• Houston is one of only five cities in the United States with permanent professional resident companies in all of the major performing arts disciplines of opera, ballet, music and theater.
• The Alley Theatre received the 1996 Tony Award for best regional theatre.
• Houston Grand Opera is the only opera company in the U.S. to win a Grammy, a Tony and an Emmy.
• Houston Ballet is the fifth largest ballet troupe in the country and the youngest of the major national dance companies in America.
• The Houston Symphony performs more than 200 concerts throughout the world for more than 300,000 people each year.
• Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is the largest non-profit producer of musical theater in America. TUTS’ permanent downtown home—The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts—opened on May 10, 2002.
• The Alley Theatre began in 1947 when high school teacher Nina Vance sent out 214 postcards to friends and neighbors. The postcard read: “It’s beginning! Do you want a new theatre for Houston? Meeting. 3617 Main. Bring a friend! Tuesday, October 7, 8 p.m.” More than 100 “members” attended and the Alley was born. The Alley Theatre is located at 615 Texas Avenue.
• The Gus S. Wortham Center, located at the corner of Smith and Texas, opened in 1987 and is home to resident companies Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera. The Wortham Center is a 437,000 square-foot facility that could fit a six-story building into the Grand Foyer and three football fields on the roof. There is the same amount of wiring in Wortham Center as would be found in a 75-story office building. The construction of the Wortham Center was funded entirely by the private sector.
• Prior to performing in Jones Hall, the Houston Symphony called the City Auditorium home. The City Auditorium, now the site of Jones Hall, opened in 1910 and hosted cultural events, boxing matches, poultry exhibits, automobile shows, dances and conventions. The facility had deteriorated by 1962, and the Houston Endowment, a charitable foundation established by Jesse Jones, committed to building a new hall for the city. Four years later, the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts opened at 615 Louisiana Street.
• The Verizon Wireless Theater is located at the corner of Texas and Bagby in the Bayou Place entertainment complex. The theater can be set up in three distinctive seating arrangements—traditional theater rows, cabaret tables or standing room—depending on the nature of the performance.