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Cosmopolitan Las Vegas opens new theater

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas appears to have a winner when it comes to hyper-specific themes. The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas has opened a concert venue intended to evoke a 1930s-era theater dropped into an Eastern European glass factory.

The Strip's newest event space will celebrate a grand opening just before the new year with a performance by pop star Bruno Mars. It technically opened its doors on Sunday, hosting an IBM meeting.

The event space, called the Chelsea, features velvet and leather lounge chairs, a striking art deco chandelier, and the exposed-filament light bulbs that have recently become a Sin City craze.

The Cosmopolitan is touting the gold and bronze-hued 3,000-capacity theater as an "avant garde" venue where fans can get an up-close look at stars who usually play arenas.

"The worst seat in the house is 100 feet from the stage," chief marketing officer Lisa Marchese said.

By contrast, the Coliseum at Caesars Palace, where singer Celine Dion performed her long-running residency, seats 4,000.

Other themed Strip projects announced this year include a shopping mall modeled on Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, and a China-themed casino, which is expected to include a replica of the Great Wall of China and house live pandas.

The designers of the Chelsea attempt to evoke a glass factory with caged light fixtures, antiqued mirrors, and deep, shared basins in the bathrooms.

As for the theater component, a set of three vintage stage backdrops hang from thick fiber ropes above the Chelsea's grand staircase, and more ropes hang above the balcony like strings of Christmas lights.

The Cosmopolitan declined to give the project's price tag.

The last major Las Vegas resort approved before the Great Recession, the $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan was built by Deutsche bank after its original developer defaulted.

It has recovered from the brink of bankruptcy and has branded itself as a "decidedly different" kind of casino, marketing to a more urbane kind of gambler and event-goer.

The casino opened in 2010, but the 65,000 square-foot space theater space sat empty until construction workers began transforming it into the Chelsea last March. There are still a few other, smaller spaces tucked into the property have yet to be developed, Marchese said.

The hotel-casino's existing concert venue, previously called the Chelsea Ballroom, has been renamed the Belmont.

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Hannah Dreier can be reached at http://twitter.com/hannahdreier.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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