By Richard Zagrzecki
Cullen Performance Hall, the site of hundreds of concerts, shows and lectures since opening its doors 66 years ago, is about to make another grand debut.
Over the past few months, the historic venue in the heart of campus has undergone a host of renovations, improvements and upgrades, which will be unveiled during a Dec. 1 open house. The University of Houston community is invited to attend the special event, which will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. There will be backstage tours, free food and drinks, and upcoming previews.
Some of the improvements the facility has undergone are aesthetic, while others involved safety and infrastructure upgrades:
Together, the improvements provide the facility a timely facelift that will make it more appealing to event presenters wanting to book shows and concerts, as well as campus groups and organizations seeking to host activities and events.
Cullen Performance Hall has a long and interesting history. It was built at the same time as the adjacent E. Cullen Building, both of which were dedicated during a ceremony on Halloween night in 1950. Over the years, it has hosted many well-known performers and musicians, including Linda Ronstadt, Devo, Elvis Costello, The Ramones, Joe Cocker, INXS, Eurythmics, Bruce Hornsby and Iggy Pop. Others who appeared in the venue over the years include famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, future presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson, Sen. Joseph McCarthy, and black activists Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown.
To learn more about Cullen Performance Hall, including information about upcoming shows and how groups and organizations can reserve it for events, visit its newly revamped website at www.uh.edu/cph.