Membership has its privileges at the new Club Level inside Broward Center for the Performing Arts. A new feature for the 2013 season—the center’s 22nd—the Club Level comprises an exclusive lounge as well as select seating on the mezzanine level of the Au-Rene Theater.

The experience begins with complimentary valet parking (quite the plus in this busy part of town) and then continues with an open bar and hot and cold hors d’ouevres, starting an hour before the performance and available throughout. The stylish lounge opens directly onto the Club Level section of the mezzanine, where patrons can access their extra-roomy seats without fighting the crowd. All seats are within a center section, guaranteeing direct views of the stage. Other features of the lounge include flat-screen TVs, viewing windows, attentive service, and dessert and coffee up to 45 minutes after the show.

The Club Level debuted this season as the first phase of an upcoming renewal and expansion plan. The center’s Carmen Ackerman says that the experience was created along the lines of other exclusive club levels at sports venues around the country. She says that the Broward Center was the first performing arts center in the country to offer such an amenity.

Overall, the experience hearkens back to a time when attending a show was a luxurious affair, with guests mingling and drinking champagne in a comfortable, convivial atmosphere. Patrons certainly dress the part; at a recent event, guests wore everything from feather boas to mink stoles to elaborate up-dos. It’s a welcome return to a nearly bygone era.

The Club Level will be open for all Au-Rene Theater performances. Individual tickets and series subscriptions are available. (Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954/640-CLUB,