When most people think of a gaming town like Reno, they think of magic shows or showgirls.
However, downtown Reno has quite a bit of culture. And many of the performances that make their way to the city are held at the gold domed Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts.
The Pioneer Center shows various performances on a regular basis, such as orchestral groups, local school groups, TEDx talks, opera and ballet events and, not least of all, Broadway plays.
The Pioneer Center has been known to feature holiday performances, even "The Addams Family" for Halloween — Photo courtesy of Carol Rosegg / Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts
It’s hard to miss this building right in the middle of downtown. Built in 1967 by Don Richter (a student of Buckminster Fuller), the gold, geodesic dome of the building shines in the Nevada sun. The building has 987 seats on the main level and 513 seats in the balcony area.
The Pioneer Center was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
The gold geodesic dome of the Pioneer Center is hard to miss! — Photo courtesy of Grant Wesley / Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts
The Pioneer has featured such shows as "Annie," "Rent," "Riverdance," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Guys and Dolls." Tickets are also very reasonable. A recent evening with NPR humorist and author David Sedaris was only $25, and Broadway play tickets are generally around $50.
The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts is also home to the Reno Philharmonic, northern Nevada’s largest performing arts organization.
Led by music director Laura Jackson, the orchestra has over 60 professional musicians. They perform various concerts around the area, including the Spirit of the Season during the holidays.
The Pioneer Center also features classics like "Guys and Dolls" — Photo courtesy of Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts
The Pioneer features nearby parking, coat check, a small concession stand with wine and beer and access to nearby restaurants.
There's really no official dress code for the center (Reno is a casual town.), but for many of the holiday shows or the evening performances, many people will dress in business casual.
If you're at a performance, there are various restaurants and bars within walking distance of the Pioneer Center, including the River Room, the Wild River Grille, Campo and Reno Provisions. Also nearby are various hotels and casinos, including the Siena and the Eldorado.