City gears up to hear Keller Auditorium renovation ideas, progresses with five compelling proposals for potential new performing arts facility

News Article
This week, City Council is set to review a renovation proposal for Keller Auditorium, while five locations for a potential new performing arts facility, including Lloyd Center, Lloyd Superblock, Portland State University, OMSI and Zidell Yards, have been narrowed from an initial eight.

Keller Auditorium is the largest theatrical auditorium in Oregon and the only theater in the Portland area capable of hosting Broadway performances, large operas and ballet productions. A 2020 seismic study underscored the need for renovations to meet modern safety standards and ensure the auditorium's ability to withstand a major earthquake.

The Keller plays an essential role in Portland’s arts community, generating half the revenue for Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, helping to make smaller, local productions feasible, affordable and accessible - and the City, Portland’5 and Metro have a unique opportunity consider the possibilities for large-scale productions in Portland to continue long into the future.

In the coming year, City leaders will have a range of options to consider for exploring the future of premier performing arts in Portland, including the renovation of Keller Auditorium and the potential development of a new large-scale performing arts venue.

A privately led renovation concept for reimagining the existing Keller Auditorium will be presented to Portland City Council on Sept. 27. The study, funded in part by the City of Portland and Metro, incorporates safety, accessibility and functionality upgrades.

Next spring, City Council will also hear proposals for building a new facility in a new location, ensuring a comprehensive look at possibilities for the future of large-scale performing arts in Portland.

Eight proposals submitted in response to a recent Request for Expression of Interest highlighting locations for the potential development of a new large-scale performing arts venue were narrowed to five, and include Urban Renaissance Group (Lloyd Center Mall), Zidell Yards, OMSI, Lloyd Superblock (across from Holladay Park) and Portland State University.

Evaluators from Prosper Portland, Metro, Portland’5 Centers for the Arts and the City of Portland will meet with the five proposal teams in October before selecting two proposals for further analysis, design, and conceptual development.

By spring 2024, both the Keller Auditorium renovation concept and properties which could serve as potential sites for a new large-scale performing arts facility will be shared with City Council as a comprehensive set of options for exploring the future of premier performing arts in Portland.

Keller Auditorium is owned by the City of Portland and operated by the Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, a service of Metro.

Related documents

July 12, 2023 RFEI: New Performing Arts Facility 153.37 KB

Keller Auditorium 2023 fact sheet 373.38 KB

Keller Auditorium 2020 Seismic Analysis Summary 6.84 MB