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Opening of the Robinson Center

Robinson Center

On Feb. 16, 1940, after three years of planning and construction, the Joseph Taylor Robinson Memorial Auditorium officially opened.

Following a performance of Sibelius’ “Finlandia” by the Arkansas State Symphony Orchestra, Mayor J.V. Satterfield and Senator Joseph Taylor Robinson’s widow cut a ribbon stretched across the stage.

The 1,700 attendees then watched the San Francisco Opera Ballet perform. Tickets for the event ranged from $1 to $2.50.

While the gala was happening upstairs in the music hall, high school basketball was taking place in the downstairs exhibition hall. Fans saw Little Rock High School upset Pine Bluff.

– Scott Carter, City of Little Rock

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