Get Cultured at the Tower Theater

As a child growing up in Bend, my little sister and I would always groan every time my dad announced that we were all going to the Tower. It didn’t have a big screen and special effects like they have at Regal Cinemas. All the plays, concerts, and movies they showed there were often things I had never heard of. And what’s more, it seemed like we were always the only “young folks” around for miles.

But the thing was, I secretly liked going to the Tower. There was just something about it that made going out really something special. Maybe it was the bright white lights at the entryway. It could have been the iconic tower itself that watches over downtown Bend from 40 feet up. Or maybe it was the vintage glamour of the old beautifully renovated theater that made it so magical.

The building was originally built in 1940 and thrived as a cinema and performing arts stage. It closed when it couldn’t keep up with multi-screen theaters until efforts to renovate and reopen the building were finally successful in 2004. It now features state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment and a video projection system.

Since the reopening, the Tower Theater has been a cultural and historical hub of Bend as the home of everything from the Bend Film Festival and Broadway reproductions to Chinese acrobats and Grammy-winning artists. Highlights of my own experiences at the Tower include The Producers, KT Tunstall, Blind Pilot, and most recently, Spamalot—all shows that are sure to entertain audiences of all ages.

I have my dad to thank for keeping me cultured. And even though you can definitely spend a fortune to get the theater experience in Portland, the Tower offers many popular shows and artists at half the price. So make a night out of an event at the Tower Theater. It is truly a gem in our town!

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