Broadway's The Lion King Coming To Little Rock's Newly Renovated Robinson Auditorium

Sep 26, 2016

Ed Payton, CEO of Celebrity Attractions, and Gretchen Hall, president and CEO of Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, announcing Disney's The Lion King.
Credit David Monteith / KUAR

The Robinson Center is eager to show off the expanded capabilities of its new theater once renovations are completed in November.

Ed Payton, CEO of Celebrity Attractions, announced Monday that The Lion King will be in the theater’s lineup of Broadway musicals for the 2017-2018 season. It and Broadway’s longest running musical, Phantom of the Opera, are shows that were not physically possible in the musical hall prior to the Robinson Center’s renovations.

According to Payton, “Disney literally could not have gotten their show into the hall. And the same was with [The Phantom of the Opera] so brand new day for Broadway in Little Rock as a result.”

The theater, originally built in 1939, has been under construction since 2014.

“We are on time and we are on budget,” added Gretchen Hall, president and CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. “And that is no small feat for a project that is a $70 million renovation and restoration of an historic icon in our community.”

In 2013 voters approved a two-percent tourism tax which funded the renovations.