The Celebrity Theatre has been bringing performing artists to the town of Phoenix, Arizona since the 1960s. Strangely, records of the Celebrity Theatre during the years 1965-1999 have been lost, or were never documented in the first place. Many well-known artists such as Willie Nelson have performed at the Celebrity Theatre. Recently, the theatre has been recognized as a historical designation by the National Register of Historic Places.
Backstory and Context
The Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona opened on January 13, 1964, with a performance of the musical “South Pacific.” Originally known as the Pheonix Star Theatre, the building was designed as a multi-functional conference center that could host concerts on the weekends, but in the 1970s the name was changed to Celebrity Theatre. The Celebrity Theatre has expanded from a small-town theatre to one that has had many famous celebrities perform there. A few celebrities that have performed at the theatre include Bill Cosby, Duran Duran, Chris Rock, Diana Ross, Billy Joel, David Bowie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Olivia Newton-John.
In 2013, the Celebrity Theatre reached its 50th year anniversary and became a topic of historical significance. Phoenix City Council nominated the theatre to become historically designated. The people of Phoenix believed that the Celebrity Theatre should be recognized for its architecture, along with wanting to preserve the building that brought in celebrities to the small town. The voting was scheduled for September 18, 2013. In 2017, the Celebrity Theatre was officially is recognized with historical designation from the National Register of Historic Places.
Strangely, there is not much information on previous owners except for Alycia Klein. Klein kept detailed records of the theatre since 1999. The marketing director, named Kelly McDonald, has spent 10 years trying to track down records of the theatre, but she has only found information on when the theatre opened. From 1965-1999, it is extremely hard to find information on the theatre. She relies on ticket stubs, posters, photographs, and newspaper articles to piece together information. She found a ticket stub from 1968 showing the theatre was still operational, but sometime during the 1970s the theatre was attached to a hotel, and the name was changed to TraveLodge Theatre.
Celebrity Theatre. . . https://www.celebritytheatre.com/.
Cordova, Randy. Star Theatre/ Celebrity Theatre. Phoenix Center History. January 04, 2014. Accessed December 08, 2018. http://phoenixtheaterhistory.com/companies/star-theatre-celebrity-theatre/.