Love for Performance Spurs Local Dinner Theater’s Transition to Cultural Arts Center

By Lindsay Nichols

Looking for a fun new way to support the arts in Fort Collins? Look no further than the newly improved Midtown Arts Center (MAC). Formerly the Carousel Dinner Theatre, in November of 2010 the business moved to its current location (3750 S. Mason Street). It gained a lot more than just a new place to call home.
The new building has four main spaces: the main stage dinner theatre, ballroom, a rehearsal studio/classroom and a second auditorium specifically designed for children’s theatre, outside performance, meetings and lectures.
“With the move, we’ve done a good job of bringing more offerings. We’ve gone from being just a dinner theater to a cultural arts center,” owner Kurt Terrio says. “There’s something for everyone: entertainment, events and education.”
With the expansion, MAC has begun offering a wider range of entertainment options.
“The move has expanded our demographic. We’re blessed by having a diverse dinner theater – our audience goes beyond the typical ‘retirees,’ and we are now a destination for weddings, corporate events, meet and greets, date nights, and dinner detective parties,” he says.
There’s always something going on at the MAC, whether it is rehearsals, meet and greet cocktail hours, or the mysterious “Dinner Detective” events. (“Dinner Detective” is an interactive murder mystery comedy dinner where the actors are hidden among the customers, leaving everyone to wonder who is part of the show and who is not.)
And the space is great – the building is the perfect fit for the MAC.
“The building had been empty for nine years when we bought it,” Terrio says.
Now there is more than enough space to accommodate several events at the same time, and the full-service kitchen can serve two large parties during the same evening – a great improvement over the previous location.
“Aside from the Lincoln Center, there is nothing really like the MAC in Fort Collins. We wanted to do something on this side of town; we want to be the Southside cultural arts center,” Terrio states. “We’re unique because we’re able to keep things intimate and our prices are affordable.”
And this is absolutely true. Dinner and a show at the MAC typically ranges from $44-$49/person, which is quite a bargain. And an even better deal is a package for season tickets, which includes three shows and dinner any day, any time for $100. There’s not a bad seat in the house!
Shows run Thursday-Sunday evenings, and guests can enjoy cocktail hour in the bar and lounge before the show.
When selecting upcoming shows, Terrio likes to decide on a diverse season that breaks the mold of typical dinner theatre.
“I combine the classics with the newest that Broadway has to offer,” he says.
The actors are national performers who are in town for 10-12 weeks at a time.
“We like to call ourselves ‘Broadway Up Close and Close to Home,’” Terrio says.
Now is the perfect time to check out MAC. Now through March 17 you can catch the one-and-only Avenue Q. MAC is the first company to produce this show in Colorado, and, according to Terrio, it’s a must-see.
“Avenue Q is Sesame Street meets Seinfeld and South Park,” he explains. “It’s very funny and absolutely rated R.” Sounds like the perfect way to spend an evening with friends or (adult) family members.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Midtown Arts Center online at or find them on Facebook!

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