The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts is the premier performing arts venue in all of Raleigh and one of the top in the entire Southeast. The center is well known for its outstanding venues and remarkable performances year-round. It hosts many events throughout the calendar year, including theater productions, symphonies, musicians, and speakers.

The center has four concert and theater venues. They are the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, Meymandi Concert Hall, Fletcher Opera Theater, and Kennedy Theater. You will find the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts located at 2 East South Street in downtown Raleigh. It is located near the end of Fayetteville Street and faces the North Carolina State Capitol Building.

Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts History

The predecessor of the performing arts center is the Raleigh Auditorium which was built in 1932. In 2001, the Meymandi Concert Hall, Fletcher Opera Theater and Kennedy Theater were added, and it became known as a performing arts center. Additionally, Lichtin Plaza was also added. It is the 2-acre lawn fronting the Duke Energy Center. It often serves as a venue for outdoor festivals, as well as the site of public and private gatherings and tented events.

Raleigh Auditorium

The centerpiece of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts is the Raleigh Auditorium. It has a seated capacity of 2,277, which is the largest capacity of any venue in the performing arts center. The Raleigh Auditorium hosts Broadway musical productions and concerts by top singers, violinists, pianists and music bands.

Raleigh Auditorium includes over 80,000 square feet of stage, seating areas, rehearsal areas, public areas, and lobbies. A renovation in 1990 upgraded the historic facility and included improving the acoustics and lighting. It also has a box office where tickets for Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts events can be purchased.

Meymandi Concert Hall

Meymandi Concert Hall is located at the west end of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. It has a seated capacity of 1,700 spectators and is named after Dr. Assad Meymenadi. He was a benefactor and supporter of the arts. The North Carolina Symphony is based at Meymandi Concert Hall and frequently performs here. Meymandi Concert Hall is well known for its excellent acoustics, tall 65-foot ceilings, and unique shoebox shape.

Fletcher Opera Theater

The Fred Fletcher Opera Theater is found at the east end of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Its seated capacity is 600 guests. The opera theater is a leading venue for opera and dance in North Carolina. It is also the home of Carolina Ballet, which performs here. The theater is also noted for its close seating to the stage which allows guests to experience the show up-close. It is named after Alfred Johnston Fletcher who donated money towards the construction of the theater.

Kennedy Theater

Kennedy Theater is located at the south end of the Duke Energy Center of the Performing Arts. It can accommodate up to 170 seated guests. The Kennedy Theater is a black-box experimental theater which hosts nontraditional and experimental theater shows. The theater is named after K.D. Kennedy Jr., a theater philanthropist who supported the Kennedy Theater.

All Located in The Heart of Downtown

Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts contains four venues that host a wide array of performing arts and musical shows. You can listen to and watch world-class performances that include dance, theater, musicals, orchestras, symphonies, operas, and ballets. The performing arts center also has an experimental theater that hosts experimental theater in an intimate setting.

The Raleigh Convention Center, the Red Hat Amphitheater and the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts are all within toe-tapping steps of one another. These interlinking facilities are a cultural centerpiece of downtown Raleigh, irresistibly blending entertainment and convenience for convention goers and weekend visitors alike.

So what are some of your favorite live entertainment venues in Raleigh? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with 919 Blog contributor Dan Marks for exclusive digital publication on