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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended October 13, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 11Oct00

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."


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