by By Jennifer Nicole Dienst | November 01, 2008

For special events or presentations that require real panache, rich and storied theaters set the stage, quite literally, in a way typical ballrooms simply can't. With touches like rich velvet draping, hand-carved architectural details and the dramatic lure of famous performers of the past, the theater adds an air of majesty that demands the audience's rapt attention. Following is a roundup of meeting hotels with adjoining or adjacent performance spaces.

rivieraThe Riviera Theater
Charleston Place
Charleston, S.C.
It's hard to think of a city that epitomizes Southern elegance and charm more so than Charleston. The Riviera Theater at the 440-room Charleston Place hotel opened in 1939 and has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places (A&E used the site in the 2000 made-for-TV version of The Great Gatsby). The 289-seat theater offers 9,000 square feet of meeting space, including a rooftop terrace overlooking bustling King and Market streets, plus a ballroom that holds up to 550 for a reception. (843) 722-4900;





Hudson Theatre
Millennium Broadway Hotel
New York City
With all the theaters that light up Broadway in the Big Apple, the Millennium Broadway Hotel's 700-seat Hudson Theatre is the only one regularly available for meetings and events. The theater, built in 1903, played host to NBC's The Tonight Show during the 1950s and more recently underwent restoration to reveal original Tiffany mosaic tiles lining the arches and balconies. The adjacent 625-room Millennium Broadway Hotel offers 110,000 square feet of meeting space. (212) 768-4400;


circusCircus Maximus
Caesars Atlantic City
Atlantic City
The newly renovated, 1,600-seat Circus Maximus underwent a
$9.2 million renovation this year and now features a host of high-end amenities. The stadium-style seating is swathed in red mohair with mahogany backs, and an "Emperors Row" offers VIP seats that mimic Lay-Z-Boys with their own tables. Guests can gather and gab in the theater's new Forum Lounge or the eye-catching Toga Bar, trimmed with mother-of-pearl, mahogany and marble. Caesars Atlantic City offers 1,400 rooms and 45,000 square feet of meeting space. (609) 348-4411;




MGM Grand Theater

MGM Grand at Foxwoods
Mashantucket, Conn.
The 4,000-seat MGM Grand Theater opened this past May along with the 825-room MGM Grand at Foxwoods, part of the Foxwoods Resort Casino. The property offers a total of  170,000 square feet of meeting space, four restaurants (including Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak), the 20,000-square-foot Shrine nightclub, a 21,000-square-foot spa and 1,400 slot machines. (866) 646-0050;



opryThe Grand Ole Opry
Gaylord Opryland Resort
& Convention Center
Besides packing in 2,881 rooms and 600,000 square feet of meeting space, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville has the Grand Ole Opry House (home of the famed namesake concert series) as well as the Acuff Theatre, both of which can be rented for events. Guests can meet and eat right on the stage of the 4,372-seat Opry House, where virtually every country music great from Johnny Cash to Garth Brooks has performed since 1974. (615) 458-2800;