Sun To Set On The Sundome

The Sundome Center for the Performing Arts in Sun City West, Ariz., is to be demolished by the end of summer, making way for a shopping center.

The venue opened in 1980 with a performance by Lawrence Welk and his cast of singers, dancers and musicians for a top ticket price of $7, according to the Arizona Republic.

The Sundome was designed by architects for the Del E. Webb Development Co. as a marketing tool to sell homes in Sun City West.  It’s being demolished after decades of financial losses and repeated attempts to make it a viable performance space.

The venue’s white-elephant status was sealed in 2009 when its then-owner, Arizona State University, turned off its lights for the last time.

Developer Brown Grace 6 Investments bought the 16-acre site last year from ASU for $2 million.

“We weren’t able to use it,” ASU’s Karen Honeycutt told the Republic. “I think the proposed development will be good for the area.”

Workers are expected to start salvaging the seats and other memorabilia this month. Fry Foods, a grocery store that will anchor the new development, plans to display some of the historical photographs from the Sundome’s past, including performers such as Rosemary Clooney, Bob Dylan, Bob Hope and Tim Conway.