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County, Rosslyn Show Off Soon-to-Open Artisphere

Arlington County and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District held a press conference today to show off Arlington’s nearly-completed cultural center, Artisphere. The venue is a centerpiece of the effort to revitalize the workaday Rosslyn business district.

The $6.7 million, 62,000 square foot facility will open to the public on Sunday — 10/10/10 — at 10:10 a.m. A ritzy opening gala ($250 per ticket) will be held Friday night, while a hipper, cheaper “second opening” sponsored by Pink Line Project and Brightest Young Things will be held Saturday night.

Within Artisphere are three theaters, three formal exhibit spaces, a multi-use ballroom, an expansive outdoor terrace, a bar/restaurant (which is currently lacking a tenant), a two-level Wi-Fi lounge, and a retails crafts store.

The theaters include the 350-seat Dome Theater, a repurposed Imax venue; a 200-seat black box theater that will be the new home of the Washington Shakespeare Company; and the existing, adjacent 367-seat Spectrum theater.

The ballroom will be used for events, regular weekday dance lessons, and weekly late-night concerts that will be held on Saturdays and feature contemporary rock, punk and fusion acts.

The terrace will be used for openings and for private events, especially during the warmer weather months. The Wi-Fi lounge will be open to anyone who wants to hang out, get work done or get food or drinks from the restaurant. (We’re told the bidders looking to manage the restaurant space include several well-known local restaurateurs.)

If you must drive, parking garages under Artisphere and the Spectrum theater offer about 300 spaces that will be free after 6:00 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends.

Those who crave the limelight take note: a reality show camera crew from TLC will reportedly be at Saturday’s opening event. They’re following a balloon artist who will have three elaborate exhibits on display.

More photos after the jump.

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