The Pioneer Theater--Auditorium, now called the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, was designed by the Oklahoma City architectural firm Bozalis, Dickinson and Roloff, and completed in December 1967. It is located in downtown Reno amidst other historic buildings featured in this itinerary. From the front, the building looks like a bird that has swooped down to the ground with its wings spread. The building's 140-foot diameter gold-anodized geodesic dome consists of 500 faceted panels. The dome was fabricated by Temcor, a Torrance, California, company co-founded by Donald Richter, a student of Richard Buckminster Fuller. The geodesic dome was the brainchild of the far-thinking Buckminster Fuller. Long fascinated with the need for more efficient and cost-effective housing, he saw the solution to the world's problems in nature's design principles. The geodesic dome was the result of his revolutionary discoveries about balancing the forces of compression and tension in building, and his belief that the triangle is the strongest structure in nature.
The Pioneer Theater--Auditorium opened its doors in January 1968, and it has played an important role in the expansion of Reno's cultural milieu at the middle of the 20th century. Today, the Pioneer Center is a focal point of Reno's Arts and Culture District. The district includes a number of historic properties that have been adapted to house cultural events and activities.