Moody Theater celebrates 2nd anniversary


by QUITA CULPEPPER / KVUE News and Photojournalist DAVID GARDNER

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 19 at 6:42 PM

AUSTIN -- The ACL Live at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin celebrated its second anniversary last week. 

It hosted Diana Ross, Megadeath and many other artists and entertainers.

Those who run the venue say with time and technology, it's going to make an even bigger impact on Austin and the world.

The iconic statue of Willie Nelson sits outside the Moody Theater, and inside, staff was hard at work Tuesday preparing for the latest event.

The venue averages 80 concerts, 50 private events and 25 Austin City Limits tapings a year.

Since it opened two years ago, more than half a million people have walked through the doors to enjoy everything from a tribute to Johnny Cash to a fundraiser for President Barack Obama.

“We stay very busy,” said Colleen Fischer, the general manager and director of booking. “We just didn't really know the kind of magic that we'd be creating in here.”

Fischer says the architect toured theaters across the country, took what was best from each one and created what some call one of the best venues in the nation.

“We've won industry awards. We were up for 'best theater of the year' this year right ahead of the Grammys,” Fischer said.

The acoustics, three-level design and a $350,000 movable lighting system help set this venue apart. The Moody Theater sits 22 hundred people. It's large enough for major acts to come in and small enough for it to still feel like an intimate setting.

“When you see shows like that in this building where you can really see and hear everything, everything becomes very special,” Fischer said.

It's also a popular tourist attraction, attracting tourists from across the world every day.

Recently the venue started Stage Side Live, which has bands performing in Austin, while millions of fans watch the webcast from around the globe.

“We've done two shows already. We've done Keane and Neon Trees,” Fischer said. “Keane in particular attracted a lot of fans from South America. It was really exciting to see the statistics. It was always our vision. It's just now coming to fruition.”

Fischer says there are more exciting projects and performances that will be announced in just a few weeks.