Summarized by Kent Larsen
New Theater to Open at Washington DC Visitors Center
WASHINGTON, DC -- The LDS Church's Washington DC Visitor's Center
will debut its new theater on Saturday with a concert by the Southern
Virginia College Chamber Choir. The theater, which has been under
construction since its groundbreaking last Fall, will help the
Visitors Center attract visitors year-round.
The theater seats 544, and includes a large 70mm film screen, similar
in size to the screen in the LDS Church's Legacy Theater in the
Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. The stage is also
large enough to accommodate choirs and other large performing arts
groups. And like the Salt Lake theater, this screen will show the LDS
Church's film "Legacy," starting Monday, October 16th.
Elder David Salisbury, Director of the Visitors Center, expressed
some caution about the schedule because workmen aren't quite finished
with the theater. But he is sure that it will be complete by its
scheduled dedication on November 28th, by LDS Apostle Dallin H. Oaks.
Because of limited seating, the dedication is by invitation only.
That will make the theater ready for the Visitors Center's annual
Christmas season events. Each year a foreign ambassador pulls the
switch to light the hundreds of thousands of lights on the Temple
grounds, starting the Visitors Center's Festival of Lights. The
Center then hosts a different musical group each night. This year the
groups will perform in the new theater.
But while Elder Salisbury is grateful for the theater during the
Christmas season, he is more grateful for what it will mean. "The
Theater will bring more people to the Visitors Center and allow us to
provide attractions apart from the Temple. In the past the draw has
been the visual effect of the Temple. Now there will be a year round
reason for people to come."