Rental & Fees

Dowd Center Theatre Fee Schedules

All rental fees and expenses are determined by the date scheduled, day of the week, time of day, the exact nature of the event, the anticipated attendance, and the requirements of the tenant or lessee.

The prices below are basic fees and rates which may be adjusted as event details warrant. The Dowd Center Theatre reserves the right to adjust its rental policies and fees depending on the requirements and needs of the event. All dates are secured with a deposit.

Management reserves the right to refuse a rental request if the event is not appropriate to the mission of the Dowd, or if the event conflicts with any other event planned by the theatre.

Basic Rental (Sunday through Thursday)

A basic rental includes use of the theatre, lobby, and/or gallery space, catering kitchen, and technical equipment (single microphone w/ stand, single video hookup, sound system, and rep light plot). The Dowd also requires front of house and technical staff (depending on the scale and scope of the event) to supervise the use of the facility at an additional charge. However, the Dowd cannot manage or supervise the event or production itself. The renter is responsible for arranging any and all additional technical and front-of-house support, including authorized personnel, workers, and/or volunteers approved by the Dowd staff. Additional charges may apply for other services (see below).

Type Gallery/Lobby Theatre/Gallery/Lobby


$500 (Half-Day)

$1,000 (Full-Day)

$800 (Half-Day)

$1,200 (Full-Day)

Monroe Resident*
(Excluding Weddings)

$400 (Half-Day)

$800 (Full-Day)

$600 (Half-Day)

$1,000 (Full-Day)

Union County Nonprofit

$300 (Half-Day)

$600 (Full-Day)

$500 (Half-Day)

$800 (Full-Day)

Basic Rental (Friday, Saturday, & Holidays)

Duration Fee

Half-Day Rental


Full-Day Rental


The Dowd is available for rental in four and eight-hour increments from 8 AM to 12 PM.
Half-Day Rental = 4 continuous hours; Full-Day Rental = 8 continuous hours
Additional Rental Hours: $500 per hour; $200 per hour if prearranged

Please Note: The basic rental fees for non-ticketed events reflect Sunday through Thursday rates. Because the Dowd Center Theatre is a multi-purpose presenting venue, rentals might preclude the booking of other forms of entertainment, especially on Friday, Saturday, and holidays, and so the rates are adjusted accordingly. In addition, the DCT requires a deposit of $300 upon acceptance of a booking date, and 50% of the rental fee 90 days in advance of the rental date. The deposit can be applied to the cost of the rental, but the rental fee is non-refundable. The remaining 50% is due 14 days before the date rental date and is also non-refundable. A damage deposit (see below) is also due at the time of the second payment.

*A Monroe resident is defined as any individual or business owner residing with the city limits of Monroe

Commercial Theatre Rental (Ticketed Events)

There are two kinds of ticketed event rentals. The first rental involves ticketing by an individual, community group, or nonprofit organization, to cover the basic costs of its event and/or to provide fundraising support for that entity. In this instance the basic flat rental rates (see above) apply. Ticket fees may be added to cover box office expenses unless the renter provides their own ticketing service. 

If the rental involves the sale of tickets or admission for profit and/or commercial use (usually in the form of entertainment), the following rates apply:

Sunday – Thursday Friday/Saturday/Holidays


$1,400 vs. 12% of potential gross*

$2,000 vs. 12% of potential gross*

Nonprofit Organization

$800 vs. 12% of potential gross*

$1,500 vs. 12% of potential gross*

*whichever is higher

Residency Rentals / Multiple Events

A residency is defined as two or more events or performances in consecutive days or three or more annual events or performances. Residency requires a memorandum of understanding and shall be awarded to an organization following consultation with the Dowd staff and city officials.

Ad Hoc Expenses


Technical Director (if event requires management and/or supervision)

$400 - $600

Technical Director (consultation beyond basic rental)

$25 per hour

FOH Personnel: House Manager /Box Office Services/Ushers

$15 per person per hour

Ad Hoc Personnel: Stagehands/Deck Crew/Board Ops

$15 per person per hour

*Please note: a complete quote for personnel for (concert) ticketed events provided only after review of Artist Contract and Rider.

Additional Expenses

Damage Deposit (based on scope of event and areas rented)

$300 - $500

Security (provided by the City of Monroe)

$30-$35 per person per hour

Cleaning (based on number of attendees)

$100 (1-100 persons)
$200 (101-200 persons)
$300 (201 persons and up)

Alcohol Sales Buyout


Holiday Surcharge


Artist Merchandise Sales


Event Page On Website


Marquee (based on availability)


Gallery Fees

Artist Commission

30% - 50%

Food & Beverage Services/Catering

The Dowd Center Theatre has a catering kitchen with a commercial refrigerator and freezer, icemaker, and food warmer, where food may be prepared and served. Cooking on site is not allowed. The facility has a basic stock of table linens, skirts, and paper products. Renters should arrange for any additional table linens, skirts, or soft goods of any kind. Caterers must provide all kitchen and dining utensils, plates, and dishes.

The Dowd Center Theatre does not provide catering or alcoholic beverages for rental events. If rental of the facility includes food preparation and/or serving of alcoholic beverages, the renter may select a vendor/caterer of their choice, as long as the caterer satisfies insurance and health permit criteria required by the City of Monroe and Union County.

In order to sell alcohol at an event, the renter or caterer must obtain the necessary permits from the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and secure liquor liability insurance coverage. A copy of the permit(s) and proof of liquor liability coverage must be provided to The Dowd Center Theatre at least two weeks prior to the event. No permit is required if alcohol is served free of charge.


All rentals that involve the use or sale of alcohol and/or merchandise require paid security officers provided by the City of Monroe. Security must be arranged by the renter and the Dowd is not directly involved in this process. Management also reserves the right to require security for other kinds of rental events when appropriate or necessary.


The Dowd Center Theatre and City of Monroe require liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 for any public or private organization or individual renting the facility. The City of Monroe/Dowd Center Theatre must be added as an additional insured to all liability insurance policies.