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Old 10-17-2013, 12:14 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,543 posts, read 17,880,077 times
Reputation: 10686

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Quote:
Originally Posted by apexgds View Post
DPAC's balcony (particularly the upper balcony) is too high and steep.
Memorial just feels like it has more breathing room.
I've only been to one production at DPAC and will never ever again sit in that upper balcony. I was told that it was fine but I thought it stunk. I just got the impression that I was given that advice based on someone really wanting me to like everything about the venue.....sort of like a proud parent who thinks his kid has no faults.

Someone has got to fix the bathroom issues there. I haven't seen long lines like that in years and they criss-crossed and snaked along and made getting to the concessions difficult. That, in combination with the small lobby areas are my biggest gripes other than the upper balcony.

I really like the modern design but it seems really disconnected to its immediate environment. It just feels really unfinished to me, like it's waiting for an expansion of some sort. Maybe it is?

In the end, I'd pick my venue based on content, not the venue itself.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
11,791 posts, read 27,436,549 times
Reputation: 8114
I've been to both several times and like them both!

I like Memorial for it's chandeliers and the elegant feel! I like DPAC for the doormen!

I usually sit downstairs in the middle for each so my seats are usually very good.

As for food...we usually eat before we get there but they both have snacks.

I don't usually have to choose one over the other. It just depends on what I want to see and where it is being shown.

Vicki
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,323 posts, read 18,656,394 times
Reputation: 11064
You have to realize that Memorial is VERY old, built long beffore modern sound systems, etc. Originally the complex (what's it being called this week--Duke Energy Center?) was ONLY Memorial Auditorium and didn't have the current front lobby jutting out. The columns inside the lobby were on the outside. They did renovate the inside in maybe the 1980s, but not much since then as I recall. The other theatres (Fletcher, Meymandi) were added on in 2001, which is why the sound is better in those.

DPAC was built just a few years ago, with the newest modern technology, and has the Nederlander connection most of all. Also, the timing was perfect to coincide with downtown Durham's renaissance and the popularity of the American Tobacco Complex (which used to be a tobacco factory). (10 years earlier and it could have flopped--20 years earlier and it definitely would have).

So, it's no surprise that Memorial has features of a "classic" theatre (chandeliers, etc) while DPAC has the amenities of a modern one. If you have an old set of World Books, the entry for "Cotillion" has a shot taken inside Memorial in the 1950s or so.

Last edited by Francois; 10-17-2013 at 02:04 PM..
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
279 posts, read 685,681 times
Reputation: 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
I've only been to one production at DPAC and will never ever again sit in that upper balcony. I was told that it was fine but I thought it stunk. I just got the impression that I was given that advice based on someone really wanting me to like everything about the venue.....sort of like a proud parent who thinks his kid has no faults.

Someone has got to fix the bathroom issues there. I haven't seen long lines like that in years and they criss-crossed and snaked along and made getting to the concessions difficult. That, in combination with the small lobby areas are my biggest gripes other than the upper balcony.

I really like the modern design but it seems really disconnected to its immediate environment. It just feels really unfinished to me, like it's waiting for an expansion of some sort. Maybe it is?

In the end, I'd pick my venue based on content, not the venue itself.
It will be getting an expansion with more ladies bathrooms, restaurants, and a neighboring hotel.

DPAC to get addition and next-door hotel | City | TheDurhamNews.com
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:26 PM
 
5,574 posts, read 5,533,769 times
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From the article: "Five years’ operating experience has shown that the theater needs more ladies’ rooms."

They needed five years to figure that out? I could have told them that in one night.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
7,691 posts, read 10,062,057 times
Reputation: 6909
Quote:
Originally Posted by apexgds View Post
From the article: "Five years’ operating experience has shown that the theater needs more ladies’ rooms."

They needed five years to figure that out? I could have told them that in one night.

Well, having five years of nights where the ladies room is backed up really drives the point home!
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:38 PM
 
926 posts, read 1,427,394 times
Reputation: 1626
According to my dad, the hotel is going to sit on the little patch of grass where the "Triangle Tree Challenge" trees go every Christmas. Unless he was confused, I am hard-pressed to see how a hotel can be squeezed into that spot.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Holly Springs, NC
120 posts, read 207,785 times
Reputation: 111
I've had season tickets to DPAC since its first season - for the shows. I much prefer Memorial for the atmosphere, and both are about equally difficult for me to get to, but DPAC has consistently brought in a fantastic lineup. That said, when something comes to Memorial that I want to see, I enjoy it as well. I do think it's a bit easier to grab a quick pre-show bite at DPAC than at Memorial.

I agree that the architecture of DPAC does little for me, and it is definitely cramped up in the balconies. I prefer the old-school look and feel of Memorial and other similar stages. I grew up going to the Wang center in Boston and Kennedy Center in DC - I love sparkly chandeliers and old-school glitz above new modern glass box, but to each his own.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
7,691 posts, read 10,062,057 times
Reputation: 6909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Special_Guest View Post
According to my dad, the hotel is going to sit on the little patch of grass where the "Triangle Tree Challenge" trees go every Christmas. Unless he was confused, I am hard-pressed to see how a hotel can be squeezed into that spot.
Not sure what patch that is but the hotel is going to wrap the parking deck from everything I have seen and possibly continuing down the side of the DPAC itself. That deck was always designed for a hotel or condos to go there.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
1,140 posts, read 1,386,813 times
Reputation: 1733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois View Post
You have to realize that Memorial is VERY old, built long beffore modern sound systems, etc. Originally the complex (what's it being called this week--Duke Energy Center?) was ONLY Memorial Auditorium and didn't have the current front lobby jutting out. The columns inside the lobby were on the outside. They did renovate the inside in maybe the 1980s, but not much since then as I recall. The other theatres (Fletcher, Meymandi) were added on in 2001, which is why the sound is better in those.

DPAC was built just a few years ago, with the newest modern technology, and has the Nederlander connection most of all. Also, the timing was perfect to coincide with downtown Durham's renaissance and the popularity of the American Tobacco Complex (which used to be a tobacco factory). (10 years earlier and it could have flopped--20 years earlier and it definitely would have).

So, it's no surprise that Memorial has features of a "classic" theatre (chandeliers, etc) while DPAC has the amenities of a modern one. If you have an old set of World Books, the entry for "Cotillion" has a shot taken inside Memorial in the 1950s or so.
Nederlander! That's the name I couldn't remember!

Memorial is so old, I had my dance recital there in second grade.
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