The Heinz Hall, home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO), is a concert hall and performing arts center in the Cultural District in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The 2,676-seater hall was originally built as a movie palace known as the Loew’s and United Artists’ Penn Theatre in 1927 but was later renovated and reopened in September 10, 1971 as the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts.
The former movie palace was almost demolished since the Loew’s Penn Theatre fell down on hard times and was closed in 1964, but it was purchased by Henry J. Heinz II and the President of the Pittsburgh Symphony Society, Charles Denby, along with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, the Allegheny Conference, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It was renovated from 1967 until the Heinz Hall made its grand opening in 1971. They rescued the theatre with the intention to make a new home for the PSO. Presently, it is also the home of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Known for its brilliance and splendor, the Heinz Hall presents around 200 shows every year including various musical performances by the PSO such as Pops concerts with Marvin Hamlisch, Fiddlesticks, Symphonies with a Splash, and children’s concerts among others. It has also hosted numerous important events like a memorial concert for Fred Rogers, the Flood Aid concert for the local residents affected by Hurricane Ivan, with Bruce Springsteen as a special guest, and the Vote for Change Tour which featured performances by the Dixie Chicks and James Taylor.