Hemmens Cultural Center
Located in the Center City area along the banks of Elgin’s award-winning Riverwalk, The Hemmens Cultural Center is the cornerstone of Elgin’s growing arts community. Since its opening in 1969 with a concert by renowned pianists Ferrante & Teischer, The Hemmens has continued to provide the community with a stellar line-up of performers each season. This intimate 1,200 seat theatre is a favorite venue for seeing stars up close. In the past few years, audiences have been treated to such names as B. B. King, Bob Newhart, Phil Vassar, Garrison Keillor, The Ides of March, Blue Oyster Cult and many more. Attending a performance at The Hemmens is an experience not to be missed; clear sightlines and wide aisles provide an unparalleled concert and theatre-going experience where patrons get the sense of sitting in a luxury suite. Even the balcony’s level of comfort and proximity to the stage rivals that of many other venues’ ‘club level seating’.
In addition to the regular season line-up, The Hemmens Performing Arts for Young People (PAYP) Series educates and entertains the younger audience with such classics as Charlotte’s Web, Junie B. Jones, Seussical the Musical, and The Color of Justice, delighting children of all ages. The Hemmens is an excellent venue for rental events, including serving as the performance home of the award-winning Elgin Symphony Orchestra. The facility also annually serves several community theater groups, dance recitals and graduation ceremonies. The 11,340 square-foot Exhibition Hall located in the lower level of the Hemmens offers a fully equipped banquet kitchen, art gallery and meeting rooms for wedding receptions, trade shows and exhibits.
The expertise and professionalism of The Hemmens’ staff plays an equal role in the importance of an unsurpassed experience. Cheerful Box Office staff and ushers eagerly greet the public with prompt and courteous service, while the Hemmens expert technical staff ensures that the audience enjoys a flawless performance. With free parking and easy access from major routes I-90, Rt. 31, Rt. 59 and Rt. 20, the Hemmens Cultural Center is ideal for your entertainment enjoyment or event. In addition, one of Elgin’s three Metra train stations is located only a short walk away.
Needs work. Security is lax. Lousy seating pattern. I hear balcony is drafty. But great any how. Elgin symphony is there and that is great. The two stars are for the venue not concert. That would be 5 🌟
We saw The Mersey Beatles at The Hemmens. It was organized extremely well for the large amount of people in attendance that night. Parking is free and a quick walk to the building. My only issue is with the seating. There are only 2 ways to get seated on the main floor - far left or right. If your seat is near either end you're constantly having people going past you to get to their seats. Aside from that it's a perfect small venue. It was a fun night for music with very pleasant staff if you needed any assistance.
Enjoyed the acoustics, the conductor, friendly ushers, and most of all, the music 😊The only drawback: when sitting in the balcony, first row, the view of the orchestra is somewhat obscured by the solid balcony wall. I'm sure the wall is that way for safety, but I wish someone, somewhere, would have mentioned it (like maybe in a review?). Otherwise, lovely time, and we will be returning!
Bathrooms are inconveniently located 30 steps downstairs! (Ladies, prepare to wait when you have to go too) Wide open first floor seating with no center aisle has slanted floor with not a lot of verticality. This means no one gets a bad seat but none are that good either Lots of room and very nice bar/ concession service - loads of handicapped and free Parking too
It's not a bad place our kids go there for their dance recitals every year been there for the last 6 years now