A Boulder experience is not complete without enjoying a performance at the Chautauqua Auditorium. For over a century, the Auditorium has held a special place in the hearts of artists, speakers, and all who visit, and has brought the latest in arts, culture and education to the Boulder community.
Heated and cooled by Mother Nature, the Chautauqua Auditorium is open from May through September and is a preferred performance venue by artists because of its incredible acoustics and unique architecture. Distinguished speakers such as William Jennings Bryant, Al Gore and the Reverend Jesse Jackson and a diverse array of performers ranging from the Reverend Billy Sunday and music legends such as Wynton Marsalis, Lyle Lovett, Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joan Armatrading, Chris Isaak, The Indigo Girls, John Hiatt, Los Lobos, and many more, have graced its stage over the last 115 years.
Sometimes fondly referred to as "the barn," the Chautauqua Auditorium was erected in 45 days for $6,700 and opened on July 4, 1898, as the tabernacle for the new Colorado Chautauqua. Before the 1899 season, panels that slide upward on ropes and pulleys were installed on the middle sections of the building and hinged double doors were fitted on the east and west ends of the wings to control the dust and wind.
The interior of the structure has witnessed only minimal modifications and remains lofty and open, with only unfinished timber supports interrupting the space and single piece beams of Oregon fir spanning the 80 feet expanse above. Originally, the Auditorium was built to accommodate 6,000 patrons with banks of risers built on the stage. In 1905, the bleachers were removed and replaced with dressing rooms at stage left and right and seats have replaced the original bleachers (with the exception of some benches in the general admission section). Today, the Auditorium hosts just over 1,300 guests per show.
The Chautauqua Auditorium was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
QUIRKS & TIPS
We love our Auditorium and all its wonderful quirks and are certain you will too. Here are a few insider tips to help you enjoy your Chautauqua Auditorium experience.
- Is the Auditorium an indoor or outdoor venue?
The Chautauqua Auditorium is an indoor venue but with its century-old, barn-like construction, it shares the same ambient temperature, and sometimes the breeze, as the outdoors. See Heating and Cooling below for more information.
- Heating & Cooling
The Chautauqua Auditorium is open from May through September and is heated and cooled by Mother Nature. This means that there is no air conditioning or heating in the venue. We have recently installed two large evaporative coolers, as well as two Big Ass Fans (really the name!) in the ceiling to help lower the temperature of the building and keep air moving on hot nights. The Auditorium's temperature is also regulated slightly by raising or lowering the sliders on the sides of the building, For maximum comfort, we suggest keeping an eye on the weather forecast and dressing appropriately. It has snowed every month in Colorado so if the temperature is looking frosty, we suggest bringing a blanket, warm hat, jacket and gloves. On warmer nights, bringing a water bottle to stay hydrated is recommended.
- General Admission Seating
The Chautauqua Auditorium features three types of general admission (GA) seating- padded chairs, theater seats, and wooden benches (please see seating chart for more information). All GA seating is available on a first come, first served basis. The wooden benches are the original benches from 1898! To make yourself more comfortable on these benches, you may want to consider bringing a padded seat insert like those used at football or outdoor venues.
Restrooms are located approximately 100 yards north of the Auditorium at the Dining Hall. There is no plumbing in the Auditorium.
- NO SMOKING
Chautauqua Auditorium is a non-smoking facility. Smoking of any substance is strictly prohibited inside the venue and within 15 feet of the exterior of the building. Use of any smoking or vaping devices, including electronic cigarettes is prohibited.
The Colorado Chautauqua Association produces events that span most musical genres and topics. We also have clients who host corporate and private events. Therefore, regulations may vary from event to event to ensure the safety of our patrons, staff, licenses and historic buildings. If you have questions regarding a specific event, please contact us directly at 303.442.3282 during business hours.
EVERYONE MUST HAVE A TICKET REGARDLESS OF AGE
Please be advised that all patrons, including children, need a ticket for event entry.
Children are welcome in our venues, but bringing infants or toddlers to a performance is highly discouraged, as they can become a distraction to performers and other audience members. Occasionally, individual productions may have recommended age limits. It is always up to the parent/guardian to make the determination if an event is age appropriate for his/her child.
AUTHORIZED TICKET SALES
The Chautauqua Box Office, its phone center and web site, are the only authorized outlets for tickets to performances presented by the Colorado Chautauqua Association. Tickets purchased from any other sources, such as brokers or secondary market web sites, are purchased at your own risk. We urge patrons to purchase tickets only from the Chautauqua Box Office. By purchasing from the official ticket provider, you are assured that the ticket you receive is valid and being sold to you at face value.
When you buy from someone other than the Chautauqua Box Office:
• We cannot guarantee that your tickets are genuine
• You almost always pay more than face value
• We cannot replace lost, stolen or invalid tickets
• We cannot contact you with information on show cancellations, time changes or other useful information
A photo ID matching the name of the original purchaser is required for all box office transactions.
Due to the nature of live performance bookings - dates, titles, availability and prices are subject to change.
CAMERAS & RECORDING DEVICES
Use of audio or video recording devices, professional cameras or cameras with removable lenses are not permitted during performances in the Auditorium or Community House.
Please leave the following items behind as they are not permitted into Chautauqua Auditorium:
• Food or beverages
• Glass or metal containers or bottles
• Animals (except service dogs)
• Illegal drugs
• Weapons or items construed as weapons (i.e. knives, pepper spray, stun-guns, firearms, etc.)
• Bags, packs, or items larger than 12” x 16” x 12”( All personal possessions must fit under the patron’s designated seat)
• Laser pointers/pens, glow sticks
• Air horns, bullhorns, whistles, noisemakers, etc
• Sparklers, fireworks, smoke bombs, etc.
• Skateboards, roller skates, inline skates, use of roller shoes, etc.
• Hula hoops
• Audio or video recording devices, professional cameras or cameras with removable lenses
• Un-approved pamphlets, handouts, advertisements, etc.
• Other items as determined by facility management
For your safety and the safety of others, guests and their possessions are subject to inspection as condition of admittance. Please have your bags open and available for inspection.
Management reserves the right to handle each occurrence on a case by case basis. Depending on the item, the guest may either be asked to remove the item from the facility or dispose of the item, or may be ejected from the facility.
Any guest refusing a search of any kind (either personal or bag) shall be refused entry to the facility and may not be eligible for a refund on their ticket purchase.
Guests are expected to be appropriately clothed at all times, as determined by facility management.
Guests are expected to wear shoes/footwear at all times. Guests not wearing appropriate footwear may be asked to put on appropriate footwear or may be ejected at management discretion.
Use of shoes with wheels, or "roller shoes," within or around the facility is strictly prohibited. Roller shoes pose extreme safety dangers to those wearing them and others. Individuals using roller shoes may be warned or ejected from the facility.
MAP & DIRECTIONS
View a map and directions here.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
On concert evenings, food and drink are available at the Chautauqua Picnic Shelter, located on the south side of the Auditorium. Sit down meal and beverage service is available nightly during the summer at the Chautauqua Dining Hall. For reservations, please call 303.440.3776. Another wonderful way to experience Chautauqua is to bring your own picnic and enjoy our beautiful grounds prior to the performance. Food and drink (with the exception of water) are not permitted inside the Auditorium. Picnic tables are available throughout the Green or North Lawn.
Please help keep our grounds beautiful and our wildlife healthy by using the recycling, trash and compost containers located throughout the park.
PARKING & TRANSPORTATION
Established in 1898, the Colorado Chautauqua was not developed with automobile use in mind and has very limited parking space available within the National Historic Landmark boundary. The most ample supply of parking for concert goers is available on a first-come, first-served basis along Baseline Road. Riding the free HOP 2 Chautauqua, carpooling and bicycling to Chautauqua is encouraged.
View a map and directions here.
- Free HOP 2 Chautauqua Shuttle Service
The HOP 2 Chautauqua is a free transit service to the Colorado Music Festival and Chautauqua Summer Series concerts from approximately two hours prior to the start of the show to 45 minutes after the end of each show starting with the first concert in Spring through the final performance in September. To find out which events have a free shuttle, look for the Bus icon on the calendar. For maps and more information, visit www.chautauqua.com/HOP.
The Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark has 58 beautiful cottages and two lodges available for nightly rental. Cottage sizes range from efficiency to one, two and three bedroom, each with a fully equipped kitchen and screened-in front porch. For more information or reservations, click here or call the Lodging Office at 303.952.1611.
ADA venue access is available at the East exits and South entrance of the Auditorium, via the 12th Street/Columbine Avenue entrance.
Designated accessible parking for persons with disabilities is available throughout the park. Please refer to a Colorado Chautauqua map for designated parking spots. All parking is "first come, first served."
Service animals are permitted and admitted into the Auditorium. Each service animal must remain with its owner and be restrained. If any service animal interferes with other guests, corrective action may include rearranging seating or removal of the service animal from the Auditorium.
For accessibility questions or accommodations during a performance, please contact Public Events Manager, Julie Pomerantz at 303.952.1632 or by email at email@example.com.