Adelaide Festival Centre
The Adelaide Festival Centre is Adelaide's first multi-purpose art centre. The Festival Centre is located approximately 50 metres north of the corner of North Terrace and King William Street, lying near the banks of the River Torrens and adjacent to Elder Park. It is distinguished by its three silvery-white geometric dome roofs and its plaza consisting of lego block-like structures to the south and lies on a 45 degree angle to the city's grid. It is the home of South Australia's performing arts. Sir Robert Helpmann, a well known dancer and actor, discussed the matter of developing an arts centre with the Premier Don Dunstan in 1967/1968 because of the expansion of the Adelaide Festival of Arts and Adelaide's inability to house it in a decent venue. Succeeding Premier Steele Hall made the decision for a waterfront location adjacent to the River Torrens despite initial opposition, and construction began in earnest. When the Dunstan Government was returned to office it warmed to the location and the Festival Theatre was completed during Dunstan's tenure as Premier.

The Adelaide Festival Centre was built in three parts from April 1970 to 1980. The main building, the Festival Theatre, was completed in 1973, remarkably within its budget of $10,000,000. (The Centre was completed for $21,000,000.) In comparison, the Sydney Opera House, also completed in 1973, cost $102,000,000. The Festival Centre is known for the excellent quality of its acoustics. The Southern Plaza was completed in March 1977, comprising a then-controversial environmental sculpture by West German artist Otto Hajek. No longer intact, the sculpture was conceived as a concrete garden and iconic City Sign. The lego-like forms and colourful paint work across the Plaza were designed to conceal an air-conditioning vent at the same time as providing a playful place to congregate. However, Adelaide's citizens never warmed to the idea, and it remains one of Adelaide's most under-utilised public spaces. The Festival Centre Plaza also serves as host to an outdoor collection of sculpture, including the prominent stainless steel Environmental Sculpture (also known as Tetrahedra), by Bert Flugelman.

Performance and other venues
There are multiple theatres within the centre, holding a total of 5000 people.
  • The Festival Theatre holds up to 2000 people and is considered as one of the best acoustic theatres within the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The Dunstan Playhouse is a dual level facility that can seat 620 people.
  • The Space Theatre can hold up to 400 people.
  • Outdoor amphitheatre can hold 600 people.
  • Dining and functions facilities.
  • Space for the display of various art collections throughout the year.

Associated Companies
The Festival Centre is home to the South Australia's leading professional theatre companies, including the State Theatre Company of South Australia, Windmill Performing Arts and Brink Productions.

Recent developments
In 2003, the area around the Adelaide Festival Centre was substantially redeveloped by the State Government. The much-maligned Festival Plaza was redesigned, including opening the underground plaza to the sky and building a pedestrian suspension bridge to link the plaza to the nearby Riverbank Precinct, as well as a small number of cafés, restaurants and retail outlets. The Riverbank Precinct and Convention Centre were hoped to attract more people to the plaza and surrounding area, but due to the decision not to develop cafés and shops in the new precinct (in favour of more convention centre car parking), the area remains under-patronised.