The Alaska Center for the Performing Arts is a performance venue in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. Opened in 1988, it entertains over 200,000 patrons annually, and consists of three theaters:
- Evangeline Atwood Concert Hall, with 2,000 seats, is designed for opera, symphonic, chamber and popular music presentations, as well as dance and Broadway musicals.
- Discovery Theatre, with 700 seats, is suited for theatre, smaller-scale operas, dance, film and musical presentations.
- Sydney Laurence Theatre (named for painter Sydney Laurence), with 340 seats, is suited for theatre, film and chamber music.
Resident companies include the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, the Anchorage Opera (Alaska's only professional opera company), the Alaska Dance Theatre, the Alaska Junior Theater, the Anchorage Concert Association, and the Anchorage Concert Chorus.
The block that the ACPA sits on was originally designated in the original Anchorage townsite as the location of Anchorage's public schools. When schools began being built away from the townsite boundaries starting in the 1950s, largely through the creation of the Anchorage Independent School District and later the Greater Anchorage Area Borough, the existing school building on that block eventually became the City Hall annex and a community gymnasium.
The Sydney Laurence Auditorium, the ACPA's direct forerunner, was also built on this block. The Laurence Auditorium was perhaps best known as the site of the Prudhoe Bay
oil lease sale in 1969, conducted by Alaska's state government under then-Gov. Keith Miller. Project 80s, started under the mayorship of George Sullivan and largely spearheaded under his successor, Tony Knowles, saw the replacement of those two buildings with the ACPA.