Local News

DPAC reveals its new $1.8 million renovated look

Posted September 15, 2017 6:14 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:05 p.m. EDT

— In the last nine years, the Durham Performing Arts Center has sold out hundreds of shows. More than 3.5 million patrons have attended events at the venue.

To keep the theater in top form, it was time for a renovation.

"So many fans are so supportive of the DPAC that the seats have seen many people and the carpet has. So, we decided we probably needed to replace them sooner rather than later," said Rachel Traversari with the DPAC.

Normally, the wear and tear that would take 15 years only took nine at the DPAC.


The City of Durham gave the theater $1.8 million for the new seats.

Over 95 percent of all theaters in New York City have these same seats," Traversari said.

The new carpet is fade-resistant.

Shelly Green, president and CEO of Durham's Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the $1.8 million budget is only a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money the DPAC brings to Durham.

"I think DPAC is a tremendous asset for Durham," she said. "People were skeptical on whether or not Durham had enough drawing power to draw people from Cary to Raleigh or beyond to come here for theater or entertainment, and haven't we proven them wrong?"


Green said in fiscal year 2015-16, out-of-town DPAC visitors spent $77.8 million on things like food, lodging and retail.

"It's an immeasurable impact on the economics of the entire Durham area but especially our restaurant," said Justin Hughes, manager of Tyler's Taproom in the American Tobacco Campus. "They are such a highly ticketed performing arts center. We get 1 percent of them visiting us, it can really make a quarter, a month and even a fiscal year."

DPAC was named one of the top five theaters in America by Poll Star magazine, which rates theaters nationwide.