Originally opened as the Stanley Theatre on February 27, 1928, which was financed by, James Bly Clark, with $3 million dollars for the project. It was then nicknamed “Pittsburgh’s Palace of Amusement”. The productions were a way to uplift spirits during the Great Depression. The theater was purchased and remodeled by the Cinemette Corporation in 1976.
The Benedum Center opened on Friday, September 25, 1987, with a show called Purely Pittsburgh. The restorations,cost $43 million to restore compared the Stanley only costs $3 million to build in 1928. The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts was named in honor of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, which made the largest contribution toward the restoration of the theater.
Currently the Benedum Center is hoping to continue productions and begin shows in fall 2021. They released a message stating, ” With hopeful news of a COVID-19 vaccine, the touring Broadway industry is looking towards the future and planning for the day it will be safe to return to the theater. Looking to the new year, we are excited to announce that Broadway will return in the fall of 2021 with Hadestown in September.”