The opening of the luxurious Garland Center for the Performing Arts in June 1982 marked the flourishing of the arts in Garland. Community use surpassed all expectations, and today the Arts Center has become a prototype across the Southwest for communities who are planning to build cultural facilities.
The original 27,000 square foot facility included: two theatres, meeting rooms, two dressing rooms, and a rehearsal hall. The original Performing Arts Center provided two elegant proscenium theatres with seating for 720 and 200, and a spacious lobby area. The Main Auditorium featured a 55-foot fly loft with a counterweight system and a hydraulic elevator orchestra pit.
In the first year of operation, the Garland Center for the Performing Arts won two state awards: The Texas Arts Alliance Award for Excellence in Building and Management of the Center; and the Texas Municipal League's Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts. Within the first year, the Garland Arts Center attracted more than 100,000 in attendance for plays, concerts, meetings, and receptions.