Las Vegas has always been a town marked in its past. But looking to the future,it has always made a journey in reinventing its self. From the entertainers that perform here to the venues they perform in our city is always changing.
The Huntridge Theater opened on October 10, 1944. It was a favorite place to go at the time if you wanted to see live theatre performances off the strip. A very wide range of entertainers have performed at The Huntridge including Frank Sinatra and Abbott and Costello in its early days to Green Day, Sublime, Beck and the Beastie Boys in its later years. The Huntridge was the first non-segregated theatre in Las Vegas and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It has served time as a movie theatre, a live music venue, and has even hosted church services. Over the years the theater has fallen into disarray and currently there is a group focusing its attention on saving this iconic landmark.
The El Portal Theatre was a movie theatre in Las Vegas located at 310 Fremont St. and was the first air-conditioned building in the valley. It had a humble 400 square foot theatre but the haciendastyle exterior and the interior beams made it a great attraction. Frank Sinatra introduced the movie “The Joker is Wild” at its Hollywood-style premiere, held at the El Portal Theater in 1957. The El Portal is still a part of Fremont Street but has been turned into a gift shop. Being that Vegas is an ever growing city and those that live and work here are growing with it, there was a need for a new type of venue to bring the theate r and other live performances back to a new generation of Vegas Valley residents.
The Smith Center fits that bill. With its large concert hall and two small theatres it provides a new focal point for the downtown skyline. Acoustic work was done to ensure optimum sound quality in all the venues. There is high-tech sound enhancing features like retractable drapery & auto closing doors to reflect or absorb sounds. The art deco design style was chosen to echo the design elements of another architectural wonder in Nevada, The Hoover dam.