FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is the Auditorium historic?
YES! The Auditorium was built in 53 days by 75 men and their draft animals in 1898. More than 4000 people gathered there on Opening Day, July 4, 1898. People sat on hard benches and endured clouds of dust from the sawdust-covered floor as wind blew through the open walls. The walls were enclosed the following year, the benches were slowly replaced by “opera seats,’’ and the floor was covered in concrete. Many visitor comforts have been added since, but the history of this landmark structure remains a key part of its magic.
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 breezes) as the outdoors.
Is the Auditorium heated or air-conditioned?
The Chautauqua Auditorium is open from May through September and is heated and cooled by Mother Nature. This means there is no air-conditioning or heating in the venue. We have installed evaporative coolers and ceiling fans 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.
Do I need a ticket to get into the Auditorium?
Yes! Unless the Auditorium has been reserved for a private event, which is very rare, all patrons, including children, must have a ticket to enter. Tickets can be physical or electronic (visible on your phone).
Are children allowed in the Auditorium?
Of course! Children are welcome in all of our venues, but bringing infants or toddlers to a performance in the Auditorium is discouraged because they can be a distraction for performers and other audience members. Occasionally, individual productions may have recommended age limits.
Is seating general admission or reserved?
The Chautauqua Auditorium has both reserved and general admission seating, with locations and pricing varying by performance. Reserved seating is assigned seating and is typically located in sections A, AL, AR, B, BL and BR. The seats in these sections are beautiful, wooden-backed opera seats with padded seat cushions. Some seats were installed around 1917 and some in the 1940/50s. All have been recently restored. Some patrons choose to bring a small back cushion to make themselves more comfortable.
Where is general admission seating?
In addition to reserved seating, the Chautauqua Auditorium features three types of general admission (GA) seating – padded chairs, theater seats, and wooden benches. The wooden benches in the Auditorium are the original benches from 1898! To make yourself more comfortable on these benches, you may want to consider bringing a padded seat. All GA seating is available on a first come, first served basis. A handful of seats have obstructed views. Please see seating chart for more information.
Is smoking allowed?
No. The entire Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark is a 100% smoke-free campus. Per City of Boulder ordinance, smoking of any substance is prohibited in all city parks and open space. In addition, the use of any smoking or vaping devices, including electronic cigarettes, is prohibited. This ban includes the Colorado Chautauqua grounds, cottages, lodges & venues, including the Auditorium. Thank you very much for your cooperation!
Where are the restrooms?
There are no restrooms in the Auditorium. During our summer concert series, guests may use the restrooms directly adjacent to the Auditorium on the west side of the building. During other times of the year, restrooms are located approximately 100 yards north of the Auditorium at the Dining Hall – just outside the south entrance to the Dining Hall.
Is the Auditorium ADA accessible?
Yes! ADA access to the Auditorium is available at the East exits and South entrance of the Auditorium, via the 12th Street/Columbine Avenue entrance. ADA seating is available in the venue (please see seating chart for more information). Designated accessible parking for persons with disabilities is also available throughout the park. Please refer to a Colorado Chautauqua map for designated parking spots. All parking is “first come, first served.” For accessibility questions or accommodations during a performance, please contact the Box Office at email@example.com.
Are service animals allowed?
Yes! Service animals are permitted in 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 removal of the service animal from the Auditorium.
Can I bring food or drinks into the Auditorium?
Water in clear, plastic bottles is permitted. Other food and beverages are not permitted. There are several reasons for this, including the Auditorium’s location at the edge of open space, where wildlife is often present. Spilled food and beverages attract animals and the Auditorium is not equipped with plumbing or drains, making it extremely difficult to eliminate food odors. Thank you for your cooperation!
Can I take pictures or video inside the Auditorium?
Sorry. Professional cameras or cameras with removable lenses are not permitted in the Chautauqua Auditorium. Cell phone cameras are permitted.
Is there security at Auditorium shows?
For your safety and the safety of others, guests and their possessions are subject to inspection as a condition of admittance. Please have your bags open and available for inspection. If a guest is carrying a prohibited item, the guest may be asked to remove the item from the facility or dispose of it, or the guest may be asked to leave. Any guest refusing a search of any kind (either personal or bag) will be refused entry and is not eligible for a refund on their ticket purchase.
Is dancing allowed in the Auditorium?
Guests are welcome to dance in the rear of the Auditorium. Per Boulder fire code, stage egress and aisles must remain clear at all times and guests will be asked to move if they are in the aisles.
Does the auditorium have a lost and found?
Items lost in or near the Auditorium during the summer months are stored at the Box Office on the west side of the Auditorium. Box Office hours in the summer are Monday through Friday from noon to 5:00pm and from noon to intermission on event nights. To contact the Box Office, please call 303-440-7666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What items are permitted and prohibited in the auditorium?
- Plastic transparent water bottles
- Aluminum water bottles, unless prohibited by the show
- Phones and cameras without removable lenses, unless prohibited by the show
- Seat cushions and soft-sided seat backs (12’’ x 16’’ or smaller)
- Cloth bags, purses, and small soft backpacks (12’’ x 16’’ x 12’’ or smaller), must be able to fit under your ticketed seating area
- Blankets, must not extend beyond your ticketed seating area
- Medically necessary items after proper inspection at entrance
- Baby formula
- Other items as determined by facility management
- Absolutely no food or beverages (except water)
- Glass bottles/objects or beverage cans
- Animals (except service dogs)
- Illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, marijuana or cannabis products
- Weapons or items construed as weapons (i.e. knives, Leatherman’s or multiuse pocket tools, pepper spray, stun-guns, firearms, etc.)
- Coolers (both soft and hard sided), picnic baskets
- Bags, framed packs, or items larger than 12” x 16” x 12” (all personal possessions must fit under the patron’s designated seat)
- Metal framed seat cushions and chairs
- Laser pointers / pens, glow sticks
- Air horns, bullhorns, whistles, noisemakers, etc.
- Confetti, glitter and helium balloons
- Signs or banners
- Sparklers, fireworks, smoke bombs, lighters, etc.
- Bikes, skateboards, roller skates, inline skates, use of roller shoes, etc.
- Hula hoops
- Selfie sticks
- GoPros, professional cameras or cameras with removable lenses
- Laptops and iPads
- Unapproved pamphlets, handouts, advertisements, etc.
- Remote controlled flying devices or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles)
- Any smoking or vaping devices, tobacco products or electronic cigarettes
- Other items as determined by facility management
How do I get to the auditorium?
From Denver International Airport (DIA)
Start going NORTH on PENA BLVD. Go STRAIGHT onto PENA BLVD. Merge onto I-70 W/US-36 W via the exit on the LEFT. Take the I-270 W exit, EXIT 279, toward FORT COLLINS. Merge onto US-36 W. Take the BASELINE RD exit toward CO-93. Continue on Baseline up the hill. Just past 9th Street, turn LEFT into Chautauqua Park and follow signs to Auditorium.
Take I-25 N/US-87 N toward FT COLLINS. Merge onto US-36 W via EXIT 217 on the LEFT toward WESTMINSTER/BOULDER. Take the BASELINE RD exit toward CO-93. Continue on Baseline up the hill. Just past 9th Street, turn LEFT into Chautauqua Park and follow signs to Auditorium.
Take CO-93 N to Boulder. Turn LEFT onto the BASELINE RD. Continue on Baseline up the hill. Just past 9th Street, turn LEFT into Chautauqua Park and follow signs to Auditorium.
Take CO-119 S to Boulder. CO-119 S becomes CO-157 S/FOOTHILLS PKWY. Turn RIGHT onto the BASELINE RD toward CO-93. Continue on Baseline up the hill. Just past 9th Street, turn LEFT into Chautauqua Park and follow signs to Auditorium.
Established in 1898, the Colorado Chautauqua was not developed with automobile use in mind and has very limited parking space available. Riding the free HOP 2 Chautauqua (available on concert nights), carpooling and bicycling to Chautauqua is strongly encouraged. The best parking for concert goers is available on a first-come, first-served basis along the south side of Baseline Road. From June – August, additional parking is permitted on the north side of Baseline Road from 6:30 PM – 11:00 PM.
Free HOP 2 Chautauqua Shuttle
Save on gas and parking hassles and ride the free HOP 2 Chautauqua to the Chautauqua Summer Series and Colorado Music Festival concerts.
Available on Auditorium concert nights only, the free transit service runs from approximately 90 minutes prior to showtime, arriving approximately every 15-20 minutes at designated stops. At the conclusion of each concert, buses are staged on the east side of the Auditorium ready to return passengers to their destinations.
To view event details and HOP info, click here.
Free Park-to-Park shuttle on Saturdays and Sundays | Memorial Day Weekend thru Labor Day Weekend
Enjoy a convenient, stress-free way to access Chautauqua. The City of Boulder’s Park-to-Park program aims to create a better visitor experience while reducing vehicular and parking impacts on neighbors and the area’s natural and cultural resources. The Park-to-Park free shuttle service runs Saturday and Sunday, plus holidays from 8 AM – 8 PM from convenient and free satellite parking lots throughout Boulder.
For more information about the free shuttle routes, visit partktopark.org.