Sitting inside the Belcher Center is like sitting inside a violin.
The S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center opened in Fall 2007, and was originally developed to provide a place of worship for LeTourneau University. In order to better serve the community, they also made it into a performing arts center. The center seats 1,400 on the ground level and an additional 600 in the two balconies.
Now the Belcher Center is the premier performance center for the city of Longview. With world-class acoustics and staging, the center attracts shows that Longview residents would not be able to see without traveling many miles.
“We do all kinds of events here. We do Christian concerts, Broadway tours. We do all kinds of different entertainment tours here,”said Cynthia Hellen, the Senior Director of the LeTourneau University Belcher Center. “We also have community events here like the Longview Symphony, Longview Ballet and East Texas Symphonic Band.”
Hellen was brought into the Belcher Center before the center doors had even opened. During the designing and architectural process there was one important detail that was never overlooked.
“One of the things we were really striving for when this center was being developed was really outstanding acoustics,” said Hellen. “Everything in the Belcher Center was designed with sound in mind.”
The whole idea behind the layout and structure of the center was to mimic the inside of a violin. If you’re buying a ticket to a show inside the center it doesn’t matter where you’re sitting because you’re going to be able to hear clearly and understand every word.
“We have two balconies in here and you can stand in the upper balcony and have someone standing on the stage and be talking in just a normal voice and hear each other perfectly due to the design in here,” said Hellen. “The acoustics here are nearly perfect and we’ve been told that time again by performers who know what they’re talking about.”
The center also features a full working stage and orchestra lift, as well as prop and staging areas, dressing rooms, soundproofed rehearsal rooms, classrooms and offices. It is the largest single-building capital campaign in LeTourneau University’s 72-year history.
The Belcher Center is located on Stegall Drive in Longview.
You can learn more about the Belcher Center here.
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