Apartment Living BlogFood & Entertaining › Six Top Theaters in Phoenix

Nightlife is an important part of living in any city. Seeing your favorite artists and actors perform is a true joy. And these are the top theaters where you catch watch a movie, see your favorite singer belt out a tune or watch a musical. From performance venues to historical theaters, check out these top theaters in metro Phoenix.

Orpheum Theatre

Located in downtown Phoenix, the Orpheum Theatre has what many places in Phoenix lack: a true sense of history. Built in 1929, the theater still prides itself with historical details like an ornate exterior, a spiral staircase and a grand main theater featuring red chairs and desert murals. It’s one of just 16 Orpheum theaters in the world. The restored theater seats a little more than 1,300 people and showcases classic musicals like “A Chorus Line,” “Jersey Boys,” and “Kinky Boots.”

Twitter: @OrpheumPhx

Crescent Ballroom

One of Phoenix’s hippest venues, Crescent Ballroom is a music venue, Tex Mex restaurant, and lounge all rolled into one. Smaller indie acts like Kongos, Atlas Genius, and Michelle Branch take the stage at this 550-capacity downtown venue while other patrons dig into Tex Mex and cocktails outside and in the lounge. Regardless of whether you’re here for a show or not, Crescent Ballroom always sports a lively crowd.

Twitter: @CresentPHX

The Van Buren

One of Phoenix’s newest venues (it opened back in August of 2017), The Van Buren is a mid-sized venue that houses around 1,700. Watch artists like Death Cab for Cutie and guitarist St. Vincent take the stage. Fun fact: The Van Buren is a renovated historic building that formerly was home to the Phoenix Motor Company. Little details like the chandeliers, curved iron railings leading to the second floor and a desert mural on the bar portion of the venue lend a vintage feel to the building.

Twitter: @thevanburenphx

Gammage

Tempe’s Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium (or just “Gammage”) is one of acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s last public works. And the exterior is worth Instagramming even if you don’t have a ticket to a show. Head to ASU’s campus —with a capacity of over 3,000 people, it’s one of the largest university venues in the country— to catch live theater and many Broadway shows. Enjoy “Hamilton,” “Cinderella,” and “Les Miserables” here.

Twitter: @ASUGammage

iPic Theater

With Phoenix’s sky high temps during the summer, many Phoenix residents will head inside to cool theaters to catch one of the latest flicks. There are many options to choose from (many Valley theaters feature stadium seating, 3D showings and great food), but the iPic Theater in Scottsdale stands out from the pack. iPic is a national chain that offers a premium movie going experience. If you shell out for premium tickets, you’ll get valet parking, reclining seats, blankets, pillows, and popcorn. iPics also have a high-end food and drinks menu including truffle fries, lobster rolls in addition to a long list of beer, wine and cocktails.

Twitter: @iPicTheaters

Mesa Arts Center

Located in the heart of downtown Mesa, the Mesa Arts Center is a haven for art lovers in the Valley. It’s home to four (yes, four!) theaters. The Tom and Janet Ikeda Theater seats up to 1,584 patrons on three levels and features adjustable acoustics. The Virginia G. Piper Repertory Theater can hold up to 550 people and is designed to make audiences feel closer to the performer. See a live theater performance at the Nesbitt-Elliott Playhouse, which seats up to 200. Watch smaller, more intimate shows at the 98-capacity Anita Cox-Farnsworth Studio Theater. See theater, classical music performances, comedy shows, guest speakers, jazz, documentaries and concerts.

Twitter: @MesaArtsCenter

When you’re not out on the town at one of these venues, keep active and visit some of these top-notch public parks in Phoenix.

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Ever since I first started writing for my middle school newspaper, I knew that I was born to tell stories. Well, that and travel. I've been fortunate enough in my professional life to combine both loves. My work has appeared on sites like USA Today, Fast Company, Racked, Refinery29 and The Daily Meal. I enjoy covering lifestyle topics like food, fitness, travel and decor. When I'm not writing or travelling, you'll find me reading books, playing with my two Chihuahuas, exercising or searching for my next great cup of coffee. I've never met a cupcake I didn't like. Visit Chocolate and Chihuahuas

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