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“It's less than ok.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Val Air Ballroom

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Val Air Ballroom
301 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines, IA
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Type: Historic Sites
Attraction Details
Frozen Tundra
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“It's less than ok.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

Went to see Marilyn Manson and had my purse searched and was frisked head to toe both front and back. My husband brought the camera and they told him to leave, but he explained that we didn't have a car there (we took a taxi) so instead she took the memory card out and kept it during the show. What upsets me about this is that numerous people were taking pictures with their phones as well as small digital cameras just like our Cybershot. Why didn't someone take their memory cards?! And why is it ok to take pics with your phone, but not with your camera? I don't get it. Another thing that made me angry is that on their website it states that there is a designated smoking area. What it doesn't state is that it's only open at designated times for a designated time period...like 10 minutes! Unfortunately for me, being a smoker, the only time it was open was after the opening act and before Marilyn took the stage!! Guess I should've joined the rest of the smokers on the floor who were lighting up left and right...and not just cigarettes!!! It would take a pretty big name to bring me back here again. Oh yeah, and the beer selection sucks; Bud Light, Coors Light or Heinekin. We opted for the latter. It's all $5/can.

Visited May 2012
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21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    8
    0
    7
    2
    4
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
slater
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“fun venue ~ something for everyone”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2012

experienced the Val Air for the first time a couple weekends ago... great dance floor, tables for the non-movers and shakers. option to stand right up front by the band and feel the vibes. so much fun!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ankeny, Iowa
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Small venue big sound”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012

Our teenagers love going to concerts there. Easy parking and not too big. Great sound.

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Des Moines, IA
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Historic, lovely ballroom”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

The history of this ballroom is fascinating. Some of the greatest names of the era played the Archer Circuit. They used to offer regular ballroom dancing, which of course wasn't really a money-maker, but a nice tip of the hat to the old days. This place was open air and cost a dime to get in. Now it's full of extremely loud music and drunken, foul-mouthed young people. One of my favorite bands changed their venue from the Pella Opera House to the Val Air and I'm pretty disappointed. I went once to give the Val Air a chance, but it wasn't a good crowd of people even though it was the same band. It also wasn't nearly as much fun but I'm sure the band makes more money at the Val Air. It's dirty, too.

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Des Moines
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Historical venue!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2012

There is a lot of history at the Val Air Ballroom. It's a great small venue and good acoustics for a building it's size.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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