The Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts opened in early October 1955 after students wondered for three years what was inside.
Equipped with 3,600 seats, the interior had changeable lights that allowed the auditorium to take on different looks.
There is a trap door leading to the roof, providing a view that lasts for miles.
Other than the main theater, the new auditorium included lounges and a museum.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra was the first group to perform on the auditorium’s stage, on Dec. 6, 1955.
Then auditorium manager Willard Sistare said the auditorium would help bridge the university with other parts of the state.
“The university, through the auditorium, will become a large factor in the cultural life of the community,” Sistare said.
The lobby of the auditorium was pink marble from Tennessee, the walls were Italian marble and the granite steps outside were from Vermont.
The auditorium cost just over $1.5 million to build, equal to about $14 million today.
Ashley Anglisano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.