AKA: Celebrity Theatre, Central City, Phoenix, AZ; Celebrity Theater, Central City, Phoenix, AZ

Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels; built works - social and civic buildings - convention centers

Designers: Call, Gary, Architect (firm); Farmer, E.L., Construction Company (firm); Lin, T.Y., Kulka, Yang and Associates, Structural Engineers (firm); Neuschatz, Perry, Architect (firm); Gary Call (architect); E. L. Farmer ; Felix Kulka (engineer); Tung Yen Lin (structural engineer); Perry Maurice Neuschatz (architect); Y. C. Yang (engineer)

Dates: constructed 1963-1964

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North 32nd Street and East Van Buren Street
Central City, Phoenix, AZ 85034

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Lodging chain owner Del Webb (1899-1974) originated the Hiway House Hotel in Phoenix, AZ, in 1956. Hiway House became a leading motel chain in the Southwest during the 1960s. At the same time, the flagship hotel in Phoenix also continued to grow in scale and attractions. A model train circumnavigated the hotel's grounds. In 1962, Webb commissioned architect Perry Neuschatz to design a new convention center for his complex.

Building History

Los Angeles architect Perry Neuschatz (1930-1996) designed this pre-stressed concrete theatre-in-the-round in Phoenix, AZ, to seat about 2,650 spectators. The facility opened in 1963. Neuschatz worked in association with Phoenix architect Gary Call. Groundbreaking ceremonies for "Arizona's largest convention auditorium and cultural center" occurred on 04/25/1963 at 2:00. (See Hiway House ad, Arizona Republic, 04/24/1963, p. 46.) Neuschatz worked with the building contractor Evert L. Farmer.

Building Notes

In 1964, the industry trade group, the Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), gave the Hiway House Convention Center an achievement First Honor Award for use of the material.

Owners of the theatre installed a rotating stage in 1969.

The Phoenix Star/Celebrity Theatre was placed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register in 09/2013.


Renovations at the Phoenix Star/Celebrity Theatre occurred in 1995.

PCAD id: 7399