Charlotte's First Major Civic Auditorium
If these walls could talk, they would have 60 years of amazing stories to tell. Multiple generations of Charlotteans have walked through the doors of these historic venues, which have become a defining piece of Charlotte’s storied history and bright future.
The first consumer event held at Ovens was a performance by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 4, 1955. Nearly 700 more symphony-related events have taken place since.
What's in a Name?
Ovens Auditorium is named in honor of David Ovens, vice president and general manager of J. B. Ivey department store and the leader of the auditorium-coliseum citizen planning committee.
Ovens Auditorium has held the spotlight for performers at the pinnacle of their career and rising stars who would go on to be music and comedy legends. Ovens set the stage for soulful vocal icons like Louis Armstrong, Diana Ross, and Ray Charles; played backdrop to rock and pop superstars like Elvis, Bruce Springsteen, Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Dylan and John Legend; and filled the room with laughs for comedians Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, Jerry Seinfeld, Aziz Ansari and Jeff Foxworthy.