Pearce Auditorium is a 700-seat, 19th century opera house.
Pearce Auditorium was dedicated on May 21, 1897, as “the largest of its kind in the South.” In 1978, the building was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Three years later it was closed for renovations, then reopened in the spring of 1984.
In addition to its wide usage by such local groups as The Arts Council, the Gainesville Theatre Alliance, the Gainesville Ballet, the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra and many Brenau University events, Pearce Auditorium had been the site of many famous speakers. Helen Keller, Will Durant, Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Dennis, Martin Luther King Sr., Letitia Baldridge, Robert Peters, Williams Warwick, Dan Rather, Jane Fonda, and Maria Von Trapp spoke or performed in Pearce. The Arts Council has welcomed additional guests in recent years as part of its Pearce Series, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the New York City Opera, the Joffery II Ballet, the Vienna Boys Choir, Ramsey Lewis, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Mann, Chuck Mangione, Steve and Loretta Switt.