I think you are going to find that the answers will vary depending on
the "conditions" you apply to the definition. Is a theater the same as
an auditorium, or are both different, or is there a third "combined"
category? Does the stage have to be "wired" (vs the classic examples
mentioned by some of the other comments)? Do you calculate based on
square footage, number of seats, number of patrons (standing), etc.?
The reason I make these distinctions will be demonstrated by the few
examples I cite below...and the fact that the statements tend to
"quibble" based on such answers. Your church's entry seems to be in
the "auditorium" category, as they define it (see the first cite
First, the con (from your point of view):
"The LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City is the largest
auditorium in the world.
"The 21,000 seat structure is used for the Church's semi-annual World
General Conference as well as musical and cultural events. Designed
for live broadcasts worldwide, it has capacity for simultaneous
language translation in more than fifty languages. Only the United
Nations Building in New York is wired for more. An "auditorium" is a
structure designed for the projection of the human voice or other
sound to an audience from a common focal point as opposed to a sports
Now, for the "theater" rebuttals:
LOS ANGELES, CA ? The Shrine Auditorium and Expo Center, North
America's largest theater, has recently completed its multi-million
dollar improvement plan, with renovations including a new multi-level
parking facility, which added 700-900 spaces (depending on nature of
parking) at the corner of 32nd and Royal Street, as well as
construction of the new multi-color Royal Street Performance Plaza at
the entrance of the Auditorium. ... The newly-engineered rigging and
lighting systems enhance all Auditorium performances, and the new
6,300 renovated plush seats allow for a more enjoyable and comfortable
viewing atmosphere for the Shrine's varied audiences
"WHAT: The Shrine Auditorium and Expo Center comprises the single
largest theater in North America with some 6,300 seats and an
adjoining 54,000 square foot Expo Center. Over six decades old, the
Shrine is owned and operated by the Al Malaikah Auditorium Company
(part of the Shrine Al Malaikah Temple).
"In 1993 a $15 million improvement plan was completed, including: a
new adjoining multi-level parking facility adding 700-900 spaces;
upgraded state-of-the-art stage with newly engineered rigging,
lighting and sound systems; air conditioning and heating system;
addition of an enclosed foyer; new roof and completed exterior paint
"When it was built by the Shriners back in 1906 (and rebuilt in 1920
after a fire) the world-famous Shrine Auditorium was the largest
indoor auditorium in the world, with almost 6,500 seats. It is still
the largest such theatre in America, and that sheer size is what has
made the Shrine the preferred venue for Hollywood's most important
"The largest building used for theatrical performances is the National
People?s Congress Building (Renmin Dahuitang) on Tiananmen Square,
Beijing, China. It covers an area of 5.2 ha (12.8 acres) and seats an
audience of 10,000."
"Largest Theater Stage
"The world's largest stage is in the Hilton Theater at the Reno
Hilton, Reno, Nevada, USA. It measures 53.3 x 73.4 m (175 x 241 ft).
The stage has three main elevators and two turntables with a
circumference of 19 m (62 ft 8 in)."
Note that not all the sources rigidly "define" their category (e.g.,
using "theater" and "auditorium" as if they were synonyms)...and a few
of the dates may overlap, but this will still give you some rebuttal
evidence for your debates. Good luck!